Although Wren opened back in the mid-1950s, the two schools did not face each other on the football field until 1982.
Wren began life as a Single A school, so playing AAAA Easley would have not been a wise move for either team.
The area grew consistently, while Easley remained steady as a mid-sized AAAA school.
In the late 1970s, Wren moved up to the AAA size, and developed an intense rivalry with Pickens in the Western AAA conference.
In the early 1980s, Easley and Wren began playing each other annually in a non-conference game.
The Green Wave were past their glory years, with the fourth of the school’s four state championships coming a decade earlier.
The teams continued to play annually. In 2004, Wren moved up to the AAAA level, and joined Region 1-AAAA.
Wren had fallen upon hard times and was having trouble competing in Western AAA. The Hurricanes simply were not ready for the transition to the AAAA level.
Easley also was struggling. The schools scheduled each other twice per season — once as a non-conference game, then a second time as a game that counted in the conference standings.
Several times, the teams would be competing at the end of the season to pick up their sole victory in conference play.
Two years ago, longtime assistant coach and former Wren baseball coach Jeff Tate returned to take over the Hurricanes’ program after a brief stay on the staff of Byrnes High School.
At Brynes, Tate was introduced to a wide-open style of offense that he adopted to the Wren program.
The new offense was so successful that the Hurricanes took their first Region title on the AAAA level last season.
Wren lost in the first round of the AAAA playoffs last year in a shootout with James Island last season 56-55.
With success comes problems. Some were on the field, Several players had to sit out the season opener due to an unexplained discipline problem. The Hurricanes fell to AA Palmetto in that game.
Others were beyond the Hurricanes’ control, such as Greenwood’s return to a top-level AAAA team.
Also, as the defending league champions, Wren received everybody’s best shot this season. Laurens upset the Hurricanes last Friday night.
The loss leaves Wren and Easley tied with Laurens and Hanna for second place in the conference.
Laurens faces Greenwood, so the Raiders are not likely to stay in the running for second place in the Region.
Hanna hosts Westside, a team the Yellow Jackets defeated 42-6 in a non-conference game to open the season. So Hanna will likely remain part of a tie for second place.
That leave Easley and Wren, who face each other Friday night.
While it may be a mute point, but Hanna will likely be hoping that Easley wins, as the Yellow Jackets defeated the Green Wave 14-3 earlier this year. Wren topped the Yellow Jackets 20-17, and would likely have the advantage in seeding if the two teams are tied for second place.
Easley is basically at the “gravy” point of the season.
After winning just four games total over the past three season, the Green Wave has already earned seven victories. One more win would give Easley eight wins in a season for the first time since Eric Meekins — who is set to be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame Friday night — led the 1997 team to a 12-2 record.
While Wren has experimented with a wide open offensive style, Easley coach Chad Smith prefers to keep things simple but effective on offense. Last week Easley quarterback Zach Lappin only attempted one pass against Woodmont. That pass resulted in a touchdown.
The contrast of styles should make for an interesting game.
In addition to Meekins, former player and coaches Mike Barnes and David Loggins, as well as Green Wave standouts Bobby Chandler, Tim Sutton and Bonnie Whelen Parris will be inducted into the school’s hall of fame.
In addition, barring a home playoff game, this will also likely be the final Easley High School football game played at Brice Field. A new stadium at the new high school site on SC Hwy. 8 is currently under construction.