Derby – Shelton Football History


Derby High vs. Shelton High School

All Time Football Results

The following is an unofficial listing of all the games ever played between Derby and Shelton High Schools compiled from a variety of sources. The list should not be considered definitive, but rather a work in progress as there are questions about some of the early games on the list that have not been fully verified as yet. Should you have information or want to share any memories, photos or video of any of the games, please contact us by clicking here.

The game has been scheduled for Thanksgiving Day since 1922, but as far back as 1914, the game was played on Thanksgiving.

There is a game from 1904 that some count as the first game played between the schools. However, the Evening Sentinel, the area’s daily newspaper at the time, identifies the game as being played between Shelton High School and a team known as the “Derby Juniors”. However, the Derby team actually had three freshmen from Yale University on the squad, so we are not counting it in the overall standings listed here. By the way, the Yale players couldn’t make a difference for the Derby team as Shelton won by a score of 11-5. Touchdowns counted as 5 points that year. Derby claimed a last minute touchdown that would have made it 11-10, but the referee disallowed it.

Another game – or not!

Take a close look at the schedule printed on this picture of the 1905 Derby High team, and you will see that our plot thickens as to the actual games played between the schools. Much as we saw a “Derby Juniors” team defeated by Shelton High School in 1904, we now see a Derby High team beating both a Shelton High team (27-0) and a “Shelton Juniors” team 10-5. Just as we do not have the 1904 game listed in the overall standings, we are not listing the 1905 “Shelton Juniors” game either.

And the other from 1905 – maybe!

I decided to take a closer look at the other 1905 game, and there was a surprise there as well. An earlier article in the Evening Sentinel on Shelton High School had mentioned that they were trying to start a football team. However, I could not find a record of any Shelton games except for the previously mentioned Shelton Juniors. Derby had played several and was set to play New Milford for a second time. However, New Milford pulled out of the game, and suddenly a team from Shelton High School which had never played a game traveled to Derby to play.

The Sentinel said, “Shelton is just forming an eleven and Friday evening their men got around for the first time to practice. The majority of them had never played Rugby, few had ever played in a regular game against a strong team. But they obligingly consented to play, expecting nothing less than defeat”. The result was a predictable 27-0 Derby win, the first one in the history of the game as most from Derby would say. But hold on a minute – was it a real game? The Evening Sentinel article begins by saying, “The Derby high school eleven defeated the Shelton high school team by the score of 27 to nothing Saturday afternoon in the meadows. It was not a regular game however, being played for practice”.

Wikipedia weighs in

To complicate matters, Wikipedia has the rivalry on its List of high school football rivalries (100 years+) with Shelton leading the series 52–42–7 which would make the 2010 game number 102 in the series. However, they have no listing of games to support the claim.

Are there other games out there with the same controversy? We don’t know but would appreciate any help in ironing this out and make a definitive ruling.

Year Derby Shelton
1905 27 0
1908 29 0
1908 16 6
1911 5 0
1911 7 0
1912 0 6
1914 19 0
1915 19 2
1915 19 0
1918 27 0
1922 0 2
1923 6 7
1924 10 12
1925 0 25
1926 0 3
1927 24 6
1928 19 0
1929 9 0
1930 0 0
1931 12 0
1932 2 0
1933 0 7
1934 13 13
1935 0 6
1936 17 7
1937 12 0
1938 0 13
1939 13 6
1940 6 2
1941 0 27
1942 6 2
1943 7 19
1944 0 0
1945 26 7
1946 6 13
1947 6 13
1948 0 0
1949 8 10
1950 0 25
1951 14 25
1952 0 6
1953 0 24
1954 6 20
1955 14 34
1956 0 33
1957 20 6
1958 8 22
1959 0 6
1960 0 40
1961 6 24
1962 20 0
1963 16 8
1964 6 7
1965 27 12
1966 28 8
1967 26 0
1968 33 21
1969 15 6
1970 33 27
1971 8 8
1972 10 8
1973 43 6
1974 16 18
1975 21 21
1976 21 6
1977 0 3
1978 19 9
1979 15 7
1980 12 0
1981 19 0
1982 18 0
1983 3 7
1984 7 21
1985 7 10
1986 0 15
1987 33 8
1988 7 21
1989 3 13
1990 14 3
1991 14 27
1992 14 10
1993 9 6
1994 10 12
1995 0 22
1996 22 17
1997 0 7
1998 7 7
1999 20 34
2000 8 42
2001 0 39
2002 13 12
2003 6 32
2004 13 37
2005 25 44
2006 25 43
2007 14 49

2008

12

56

2009

6 33

2010

14 38

2011

19 26

2012

21 27

2013

20 56

2014

7 56

2015

0 49

2016

8 44
Points 1225 1688
Derby Wins 43
Shelton Wins 55
Ties 7
105