by Mike Pavlichko
For grownups of a certain age, those who attended high school in either Spotswood or South River have their own recollections of the intense rivalry.
Students from Spotswood attended high school in South River until the mid-1970s, when Spotswood opened its own high school in 1976.
When I went to school (and graduated in…. wait, nevermind) the annual rivalry game was a Thanksgiving tradition. For me, I’d call the game on the PA and then head out to an awaiting turkey.
But at that time, many of the parents who’d gone to South River had kids attending Spotswood, and the rivalry wounds were fresh. It’s been 44 years since anyone from Spotswood took a class at South River High School.
And yet, the rivalry is still important.
“When we got into this arranged marriage with the Big Central, I said to [Spotswood athletic director] Mike DelAversano, ‘I don’t care who we play, but we’re playing South River,'” says Cammarano.
“And when they said we may not have a season, I said, ‘I don’t care if we have one game, we’re playing South River,'” he added.
“With people playing an hour away now, you don’t get this kind of juice all the time,” says Cammarano. “It’s a lot of history.”
Spotswood and South River will meet for the 44th time this Saturday at 1 pm, a game you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio by clicking here, or on the Listen Live button at the top of the page.
The Rams lead the all-time series since 1978 by a 33-to-10 margin, with all but one meeting in 1980 taking place in the regular season. The Chargers had never won back-to-back games against their arch-rivals until winning three straight from 2014-2016. Despite trailing the series by a large margin, Spotswood has won four of the last six in the series, and were victorious in last year’s meeting, 17-14 at Chargers Stadium.
Listen below to Cammarano talking about the rivalry with South River and previewing this weekend’s matchup: