I have to steal a phrase from Berryville head football coach Doug Shott.

Shott ends every interview with “It’s a great day to be a Bobcat.” Even though the program is in the process of rebuilding, Shott is always optimistic about the progress of his team.

This Friday night, Harrison High School will be celebrating 90 years of Goblin football and “it is a great day to be a Goblin.”

Harrison’s football team will be playing a very important contest on the field, but there will be festivities abounding throughout F.S. Garrison Stadium.

The Goblins started football in a somewhat unorganized fashion in 1929.

Harrison’s first football game was against Western Grove. The contest ended with the Goblins winning, 27-0.

Traveling down Highway 7, Harrison’s first ever road game was at Atkins.

While playing the first game, the football field was shared with the baseball field and the rodeo arena.

The pitcher’s mound was not removed during the contests, so the football team had to run plays that adjusted to the bump in the middle of the field.

There were several complaints about the extra findings in the field after livestock was used in the rodeo part of the stadium.

Harrison football played its games on the banks of Crooked Creek until the team moved to F.S. Garrison Stadium. The only exception to that was in 1961. The Harrison flood wiped out the stadium and the team had to play on Wheeler Field.

There were 17 players on the team. The coaches for the first team were M.A. Romey; Ronald Sanstead and Baird Redwine. Redwine was also the high school principal.

Friday night, the only state championship team will be recognized. The 1999 Goblin team will have its moment on the field. This team is one of only five squads that have finished the regular season with an undefeated record.

Harrison has been to the state semifinals seven times. The 1999 team is the only squad that has won a semifinal contest.

Over the summer, Harrison assistant football coach Evan Cowling filled in a lot of blanks of the game scores for Harrison. He had help in his search as former coach Tommy Tice teamed with Leland Barclay to finish the history of Goblin football.

On the field Friday night, the Goblins will be opposite Greenbrier. This game will be very important in the 5A-West race.

Greenbrier is one of the top three teams in the conference. The Panthers dropped an eight point contest to Morrilton, 28-20. This score shows the importance of the contest.

Jeff Brasel is the sports editor of the Harrison Daily Times. E-mail him at jeffb@harrisondaily.com or follow him at twitter.com/jeffbrasel .

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