Delaware, Ohio One hundred eighteen years ago, the Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Buckeyes of The Ohio State University met in their first football matchup on Ohio Wesleyan’s campus in Delaware, Ohio. Fans of the two teams will meet again at 1:30 p.m. May 3 just east of Ohio Wesleyan’s Phillips Hall at the site of the original 1890 game to dedicate a historic marker and celebrate the teams’ respective legacies.
Presenters at the event will include Archie Griffin, two-time Heisman Trophy winner and current president and CEO of The Ohio State University Alumni Association; Jim Tressel, head coach of the Buckeye football team; Gordon Gee, president of The Ohio State University; and Gene Smith, assistant vice president and director of athletics at Ohio State. Pep bands and cheerleaders from both universities will be in attendance, as well as famed mascots Brutus and the Battling Bishop.
Ohio Wesleyan’s athletic director Roger Ingles will serve as emcee of the event. Rock Jones, Ohio Wesleyan’s newly appointed president, also will speak at the event, as will David Robbins, Ohio Wesleyan’s interim president; Mike Hollway, Ohio Wesleyan football coach; and Dick Gordin, former Ohio Wesleyan coach, alumnus, and professor emeritus. Historians Brent Carson, president of the Delaware Historical Society and representative of the Delaware Bicentennial Commission, and Jack Park of WBNS Radio will be on hand to describe the 1890 game as spectators would have seen it 118 years ago.
The site of the matchup was discovered last year in a letter from Ohio Wesleyan alumnus C. Rollins Jones, class of 1892, who played in the first game against Ohio State in 1890. Written in the 1940s and filed in the university’s archives, the letter described the site near the legendary sulphur spring and a small creek called Delaware Run. Ohio Wesleyan has faced Ohio State a total of 29 times more than any other Ohio school in history winning two and tying one of the battles. The Bishops lost the 1890 matchup to Ohio State by a score of 20-14.
The commemorative event is free and open to the public and also will be broadcast live at http://stream.owu.edu/. Parking will be provided free of charge at various spots on Ohio Wesleyan’s campus. Visit http://news.owu.edu/2008/20080410-OWUOSU.pdf for maps detailing parking and event information. Attendees should plan to bring chairs and/or blankets. Due to limited parking space, buses and RVs cannot be accommodated. Autographs will not be given at the event.
Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 40 states and 45 countries. Visit http://www.owu.edu/ for more information.