FORSYTH, Ga. — Bobby Melton has always barked with the Bulldogs. He graduated from Mary Persons in 1965, and even now he gets hyped up when they play the Jackson Red Devils in the Backyard Brawl.

"You know, you want to have some bragging rights. You want to be able to call your friends up and say, 'Hey, sorry about that.' They want to be able to call us and say the same thing. It's a good old-fashioned rivalry," said Mary Persons historian Bobby Melton. 

Since the mid-1970s, Melton has served as the team historian, and he says the rivalry has been going on since at least the 1940s.

He would know because he digs up data, researches all-time records, and compiles a column that appears in the program for the fans every Friday night.

It's a process that starts for Melton on Saturdays; looking through old newspaper clippings and finding neat trends from the past that most people don't know about. 

Of course he's also seen his fair share of games between the two teams, but he says great things are always bound to happen no matter whose backyard they're playing in.

"The electricity getting ready for the game, then the team is out there and everybody is jumping up and down," Melton said. "The other team is doing the same thing and pretty soon, the referees are out there, and you are kicking off and football has started."


Aerial view of Mary Persons' Dan Pitts Stadium

Mary Persons football is always the talk of the town

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