For 48 minutes on Thanksgiving the records are thrown out the window. Talent levels can be neutralized. Goliaths have fallen to the Davids of the football world.
The bright lights and the Friday night game time are traded in for mid-morning sunshine and alarm clocks. The latter aren’t necessary—especially for the seniors, as the morning marks, for many, the end of their playing days.
Sleep is overrated when the adrenaline of taking the field with your brothers-in-arms ignites a fire in your veins.
It’s a day every senior has dreamed of since they first picked up a football. All the wind sprints, every up-down, countless reps in the weight room, the seemingly never-ending training camp practices, the nose-stinging stench of the locker room, the thrill of victories and the agonies of defeat—all of it has built up to this final moment.
The quiet storm brewing in their bellies prior to the coin toss begins to erupt as the team converges for a pregame scrum one final time. A controlled rage is unleashed following kickoff.
Thanksgiving Day football in Massachusetts is more than an annual ritual—it’s a rite of passage. Football families put their food festivities on hold to pile in the car and huddle together wrapped in blankets peppered with buttons of old player photos of their son or daughter.
It’s a day every senior will carry with them for the rest of their lives. They’ll reminisce with friends and family when they get back together for Thanksgivings to come. The memories will be passed down to their children one day with the hopes of continuing a tradition that was passed down to them from their parents.
Pigskin is the perfect amuse-bouche for a turkey dinner with all the fixings. And a win makes everything taste better.
For the seniors of the Sandwich Blue Knights, putting into words what Thanksgiving Day will mean to them is a challenge. How can anyone describe a moment they’ve never fully been in before? Below are excerpts from the senior class on what Thanksgiving Day high school football and the last four years mean to them.
“Having two older brothers that played for Sandwich, Thanksgiving is cool because all the alumni come back and we get a chance to play in front of them. A win on Thanksgiving means so much more than any other one.” — Eric Boudrow, OL/DL
“The Thanksgiving Day game is a pretty big deal. It’s the last time playing high school football for us and, for some, maybe the last time playing overall. It would be great to get our team the dub.” — Dan Halloran, RB/LB
“Representing my home town is always an incredible experience since moving back here from Kansas. Playing there always felt like a pit stop. It means so much more playing for my hometown team.” — Peter Brady III, OL/DL
“What this game means to me is a lot more than just this season or even my high school football career. Coaches on the current staff such as Mr. Davison, Mr. Lopes and Mr. Hafferty have been here dedicating their time to players since I was 8 in Pop Warner practices. Teaching us things from tackling to how to hold the ball while running. This game means the end of an era coaching us, as well as a final success with them.” — Tim Ladner, RB/LB