NEENAH (NBC 26) — The historic rivalry between the football teams in Neenah and Menasha is over 100 years old. That rivalry took a break when conferences realigned in 2013. On Friday night, the cross-town rivals play for only the second time in nine years.
"The rivalry began in 1896 between Neenah and Menasha and the game actually ended in a scoreless tie 0-0," said John Joch, CFO of the Neenah Joint School District.
But that scoreless streak did not continue for long. Neenah leads the series 51-40-5.
"Neenah and Menasha have been in the same conferences for a long time, so it's something where you develop a rivalry year after year when you play each other," said Joch.
Coaches for both Menasha and Neenah played in games between the rival teams while they attended the schools.
"That was our biggest game - the Neenah and Menasha game when I played here in the ‘80s," said Steve Jung, the Neenah head football coach.
"When I was going to school, times were a little different, it was a little more hostile," said Jeramie Korth, the Menasha head football coach.
As one of the longest rivalries in the state, both teams and their fans are ready for Friday’s game.
"It means a lot to Menasha, and it means a lot to Neenah, so you have two cities that are so close together and we both want to win Friday night," said Joch.
The game will be held at Neenah’s Rocket Stadium at 7pm on Friday, August 26.