by Peter Lyden
Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School has many great traditions. There’s the dawg house, the senior commons, Powder Puff, and many more. However, it also has some a tradition of athleticism. One such sport where this rings true is football.
Football had an amazing season this year, culminating in clinching the NJSIAA Central II Championship December 4th against Matawan. Winning 13-7 against the heavily favored Huskies, the Dawgs strengthened the tradition of RFH football deeply rooted in the school, its athletes, and its community. But where did it all begin?
The first season of football actually began when the school opened in 1938. Since them, the school has seen many improvements to its team and facilities. The most significant change came in 2006 when the current turf and lights were installed. This helped make the sport more popular, as the school could now host night games. It officially succeeded when the team’s performance tripling for the 2006 season.
However, there is more to the team than its facilities. The school has developed a strong fan base over the years. In fact, it is one of the strongest in Monmouth County. Part of what makes the team so fun to root for is the rivalries built between teams. Shore Regional is RFH’s biggest rival, but beginning this year RFH moved up to a bigger division and will not play Shore anymore. Red Bank Regional was one of RFH’s biggest rivals back in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. This year was the first year RFH played RBR in 15 years.
Mr. Fallon, a physical education teacher, football coach, and assistant athletic director at RFH, played for the team from 1987 to 1990, when he graduated from RFH. He was the quarterback from 1987 to 1989 and led to the team to the State Final in 1989. He also played basketball and baseball during his 4 years at RFH. Mr. Fallon is very passionate about football and the competitive athletes on the team that have a real eye for the sport. There are currently 64 players on the Junior Varsity and Varsity squads, and 45 on the freshmen team.
Football practices are Mondays through Thursdays for 2 hours and 15 minutes every day. Games usually occur on either Friday nights or Saturday afternoons (sometimes Saturday nights). Freshmen play on Friday afternoons and JV plays on Monday afternoons.
Mr. Fallon’s favorite part about coaching football is being around the team and the players. There is currently a strong bond between the coaches and the athletes. There is a number of players that still keep in touch with the coaching staff when they graduate.
Football players also learn life lessons, academics, and good social skills when playing football at RFH. Memories of football last a lifetime for many players and the coaches. Mr. Fallon loves coming back every year to teach and coach RFH football.