Happy Thanksgiving everybody, and a special Turkey Day wish to legendary Nichols College football coach Mike Vendetti. Vendetti is a favorite at this address and "nobody did it better" at Nikki U.
Thanks for the great response on the "Beat Pete" Thanksgiving Football contest. It’s a testament to the high school fans in this area. We are only a day away from counting our winners and it looks like the last game of the day between your New England Patriots and the New York Jets could be the tiebreaker. Johnny Hejwosz thinks he’s got the winning picks and is a longtime contestant in the turkey day contest that goes back to 1985.
I was surprised at the amount of fans who were hesitant and leaned towards Tantasqua in the Shepherd Hill at Tantasqua game. Word out of the Reservation in Sturbridge has the Tantasqua offense throwing the football more in practice over the last few days. Tantasqua scouted Shepherd Hill against Doherty and they think they can pass on the visiting Rams. Remember that Doherty just about beat Tantasqua earlier in the season.
Also, a lot of cold feet for Webster fans all of a sudden in the Bartlett-Southbridge game. Someone from Southbridge leaked out that the Spectown defense is going to have eleven men in the box and the Pioneers are begging Bartlett to throw the football. Southbridge has also put a lot of time into their special teams and is looking to score off their punt return unit.
I don’t care if Mingo Marino shows up to coach Southbridge tomorrow, the hometown Indians are going to eat turkey and so is Shepherd Hill. The only chance Tantasqua has is if Warrior Hall of Famer Al Dhembe puts on his old Tantasqua uniform and runs out of the fullback position on offense and plays middle linebacker on defense.
By the way, congratulations to Coach Dhembe and his Bay Path football team for going 10-1 this season and 7-0 in the Colonial Athletic League. Bay Path will defend its 2011 Division 6 Super Bowl title after Thanksgiving. Remember to get up to Coaches Corner in Dudley today for "Tradition Night." Old school Thanksgiving Day films will be shown from the past Bartlett-Southbridge and the Shepherd Hill-Tantasqua rivalries. Coaches Corner will be the place to be to share a lot of memories.
The feature Thanksgiving Day game on WGFP AM 940 radio is the Southbridge at Bartlett game. Please join Matt Morway and Pete Geanis for a special Thanksgiving Day pregame show at 9:45 a.m. to be followed by the kickoff at 10:15 from the Webster Memorial Athletic field on Ray Street in Webster.
Bartlett over Southbridge in Webster
10:15 am 92nd Meeting
The Indians will win this by doing what they do best: run the football and don’t let that eleven men in the box upset the game plan. Givins-Perry, Belnavis, and Patterson will lead the green army on the ground tomorrow morning in Webster. "Happy times are here again," Bob Daigle once said after the Indians finally beat Southbridge in 1980 after Southbridge dominated the 70s. The Indians break out and beat Southbridge for the first time in 4 games and yes, happy times are hear again.
Shepherd Hill over Tantasqua
10:15 am in Sturbridge 39th Meeting
The Rams tune up for their playoff game against Doherty next Tuesday. Rams quarterback Drew Ravenelle has 22 career victories over three years as the signal caller going into tomorrow’s clash with Tantasqua. Has any other Shepherd Hill quarterback in Ram history had 22 overall wins, 3 career wins over Bartlett, and 3 career possible wins on Thanksgiving Day? Let me throw out a few select names that were under center at Shepherd Hill: Ed Jarosz, Rusty Oleszewski, Mark Vendetti, and Brian Ravenelle, Drew’s father who led Shepherd Hill to their first Super Bowl in 1987.
Auburn over Oxford at Oxford
10 am 42nd Meeting
The Pirates continue their building process and this phase of their project is a tough one. Auburn is in the top 5 teams in the state this year. Keep your eyes on this game next year as it will be the example to the MIAA for their playoff system. A year from now, Auburn will be heading to Gillette stadium and the Thanksgiving Day games will lose their appeal to tradition. Does it really matter for a program like Auburn to chase a Division 5 title? Auburn deserves better than Division 5 in the state.
Back to the Oxford program. I only hope all you current Pirates know where the weight room is located. Dedicate yourselves to that room. It’s an important part of the building process.
Okay, here I go. These are my picks. Can you beat ‘em?
1. Southbridge @ Bartlett
2. Shepherd Hill @ Tantasqua
3. Auburn @ Oxford
4. Prouty @ Leicester
5. Uxbridge @ Northbridge
6. Millbury @ Grafton
7. Maynard @ Clinton
8. Holy Name @ Wachusett
9. Fitchburg @ Leominster
10. Patriots @ Jets
Total points for the Patriots/Jets game