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Rivalry Posts

Denfeld vs. Central: The Pranks

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Now that the Denfeld and Central High School student bodies have been united, it seems like a good time to look back at some of the pranks students played on each other.

The most infamous, of course, was during the 1974-75 school year. Denfeld kids somehow managed to hoist a Volkswagon to the top of Central High School. The car had “Hunters” painted on the side.

The statute of limitations is probably up, so anyone willing to come forward, admit participation and explain how it was done will surely be held harmless. (Although I can’t promise some middle-aged Central grad won’t toilet paper your house. And I suppose administrators could still revoke your diploma. Better keep quiet.)

One rumor I heard was that the whole prank was based on a lesson from a physics class at Denfeld.

Another prank I remember hearing about, I think also from the 1970s, involved Denfeld kids setting a greased pig loose at Central. Again, anyone with details should chime in on the comments.

And, of course, there was the fall of 1979, when Central kids threw eggs at the Denfeld marching band before the Homecoming game, which prompted Denfeld kids to throw eggs at Central’s band during halftime. I think that was the last significant prank before Duluth Public Schools entered an era of civility and brotherhood and whatnot.

Certainly there were some other good pranks not mentioned here. Let the discussion begin. Hell, we’ll even let cake eaters participate.

Denfeld vs. Central: Bookends to a Rivalry

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Duluth Denfeld played Duluth Central tonight in high school football for what will very likely be the last time. Denfeld won 20-6 in front of a crowd of maybe 500 at Public Schools Stadium.

Before Denfeld had a football team, the big game in town was Central vs. Duluth Cathedral (now the Marshall School). But the Denfeld/Central rivalry was huge from the very beginning, and soon became the most important game in town.

There was an unofficial first game in 1916, in which Denfeld’s freshmen played Central’s freshmen to a tie. It was the only game Denfeld played that year. Having no coach, the Denfeld kids coached themselves.

The real first game was on Oct. 13, 1917 at Athletic Park (where Wade Stadium is today). Denfeld won 6-0. The Duluth News Tribune noted: “More than 1,000 students saw the contest, and school yells and cheers were not lacking, although various players were jeered by the opposing schools for tactics.”

It’s safe to say a strong rivalry was established from the very beginning, as this excerpt from the DNT story indicates.

Between halves a free-for-all fight started by rooters of both sides. Teachers of the schools also suffered. Members of the Fourth Minnesota Infantry came to the rescue and the belligerents were parted.