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A Brief History of GA-PC Day

By Alexis Frazier Sawyers '86

For 135 consecutive years, the Germantown Academy and Penn Charter football teams have competed annually in what has become the oldest continuous prep school football rivalry in the country.

The GA Class of 1887 Championship Team
Back row (l-r): Unidentified manager, Ernest Ramsdell, Calvin Pardee, Jr., Joseph Davisson, Gilbert Palen, C. Robins North, Harry Hayward, Lewis Cangield, Abram Valentine; Standing in middle: Captain George W. von Utassy; Seated: John Brockie, George Gummey, Walter Stoer, Lynn Martin


Both Germantown Academy and Penn Charter are members of the Inter-Academic League, founded in 1887. The first few championship playoffs of the League featured GA and PC, and since then the rivalry has become legend. The addition of boys soccer and boys cross country matches to the GA-PC Day festivities raised the stakes and ignited the intensity of this traditional rivalry.

The rivalry, still fiercely competitive, has grown over the years. Once known for its male athletic contests, GA-PC Day began including match-ups between the girls field hockey, girls cross country, girls soccer and girls tennis teams in the 1990s. In 2001, boys water polo was added to the day's events, and girls water polo would follow in 2008. A special Competition Cup, established in 1996, is awarded to the school which wins the most events on GA-PC Day. GA has won the Cup the past three years.

The traditional meeting of these two outstanding schools represents the best in athletic competition where young men and women, striving to defeat their rival, play in the true spirit of mutual respect and fair play, living up to the ideals of sportsmanship. As James Connor 1760, Head of School, observes:

We are fortunate as a school to share a big game tradition with The William Penn Charter School. Important games played with well respected rivals provide some of life's most vivid memories. I encourage everyone from both schools to take a moment this weekend to step back, take in the larger perspective, and see that GA-PC Day is a forum for expressing pride in our identities as successful school communities. At GA and at PC, all the students are winners. Now that's a fact that is worth a full day of celebration.

GA-PC Day has become more than just a day when boys and girls compete on the athletic fields. It is a day when the alumni of both schools gather to renew old friendships, gain new acquaintances and celebrate school spirit