When the first PC/GA football game was played in 1887, the ball was round, or very close to it. The game was more kicking, less throwing, more like rugby. The GA boys (pictured) won that first game, 20-6.
PC/GA Day is the oldest continuous high school football rivalry in the United States, between Penn Charter and Germantown Academy.
As of 2023, the record is PC 88 wins, GA 38 wins, 11 ties since 1887. The most recent win was earned by PC on Nov. 11, 2023 by a score of 35-14. PC also won the day, taking six of the 10 match-ups.
Read more about this historic competition.
The Inter-Academic League was formed in 1887, with Headmaster Richard Mott Jones providing support for PC, and GA teacher George H. Deacon and Headmaster William Kershaw acting for GA.
Henry M. "Dick" Merritt came to Penn Charter in 1912 after graduation from Yale and became one of PC's most prominent early coaches. In 1922, after PC's 10th straight title, the New York Herald wrote: "[Penn Charter's] consistent support of football for nearly forty years, by providing the very best coaching possible, and adhering to strict rules of eligibility and insisting on high scholarship, furnishes a most substantial reason for the high position football has gained for itself all over the country."
When PC beat GA 57-0 in 1924, two of the school's greatest players ever were on the field, Marty Brill and Barney Berlinger. Brill went on to play for Notre Dame, and Berlinger was a three-time winner of the college decathlon at the Penn Relays; Berlinger finished fourth in the 1928 Olympics and a sever hamstring injury kept him out in 1932.
High school football drew big crowds in the early days; newspaper accounts report that 6,000 attended the 1922 game and 7,000 in 1934. Crowds shrank as professional football grew in popularity. Today the stands are filled mostly with loyalists for either the Patriots or the Quakers.
For the 100th anniversary game in 1986, the two schools worked together to create memorabilia. This game was played on GA's Deacon Field, and quarterbacks Mike Skoczynski (PC) and Matt Basili (GA) shared the trophy that day.
What began as an all-boys football contest, and then contests for other boys sports, opened to girls in the 1990s when both schools became co-ed. Boys water polo was added in 2001, and the latest addition was girls water polo, added in 2008.
Pep rallies and sales of buttons and T-shirts pump up school spirit in the days leading up to the Big Day.
GA won the 1938 game 6-0 with a thrilling score in the last five minutes. In recent years, PC won the 2007 football game with a thrilling final play, a hook and ladder pass from John Ryan, to Blaise Fullen, to Eddie Bambino for the game-winning touchdown.
In 1996, the first Competition Cup was bestowed on the overall winner of PC/GA Day. Penn Charter won the cup in 2018 by a final tally of 7.5-2.5.
The Geis Trophy goes to the MVP of the football game. It is named for Joseph Geis III, a 1948 GA grad killed in the Korean War. Senior Eddie Saydee won the trophy in 2018.
The James H. Rumpp OPC '55 Memorial Soccer Award is awarded to PC's outstanding player in the boys soccer game. Kyle Earley and Billy Melnick shared the trophy in 2018 after PC clinched a 3-1 victory.
Matt Ryan OPC '03 started as Penn Charter's quarterback for three years and, in his senior year, led the team to an Inter-Ac Championship in 2002. In his four years at PC, Ryan passed for more than 3,000 yards and threw 30 touchdown passes with a 52 percent completion percentage over four years. His performance won him All Inter-Ac honors as a junior and senior and offers from top colleges—he chose Boston College. Today, Ryan is a star in the NFL as a quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons.
Daryl Worley OPC '13 won All Inter-Ac honors as a wide receiver in his junior year at PC, then went on to play for West Virginia University. Worley earned 1st-Team All-Big 12 honors his junior year there and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the third round of the 2016 draft. He is currently a cornerback for the Oakland Raiders.
Mike McGlinchey OPC '13 shared the Geis Trophy with teammate Eric Neefe OPC '12 after the Quakers won the 2012 PC/GA football game. McGlinchey played as a tackle at Notre Dame, appearing in 51 games during his career with the Fighting Irish, before being drafted to the San Francisco 49ers in 2018. In his rookie season, McGlinchey started as a left tackle during all 16 games.