82-year high school sports rivalry to end

    An 82 year tradition on Thanksgiving Day comes to an end tomorrow. North Catholic High School in Philadelphia is slated for closure at the end of next year. This morning, students and faculty gathered for the football team’s final pep rally that marks the end of a legendary Philadelphia rivalry between them and neighboring Frankford High School.

    A pep rally at Northeast Catholic High School
    A pep rally at Northeast Catholic High School

    An 82 year tradition on Thanksgiving Day comes to an end tomorrow.  North Catholic High School in Philadelphia is slated for closure at the end of next year.  This morning, students and faculty gathered for the football team’s final pep rally that marks the end of a legendary Philadelphia rivalry between them and neighboring Frankford High School.

    logoDougherty:
    The North-Frankford Thanksgiving day contest is known as the Turkey Bowl, and between 8,000 and 10,000 are expected to show up as the two high school rivals square off for the final time at 9:45 AM.  It’s said to be the earliest start for a Thanksgiving day football game in the country.

    North Catholic Coach Charlie Szydlik says emotions are running high among the school community – as students and alumni are hunger for a victory.

    Szydlik: But it still comes down to, especially for the alumni this is the biggest game of the season for them.  A lot of them come out and see each other for the first time in a year, and it’s important to them to come out with a win.

    catholic hs sign

    Robert Butler is a senior and captain of the team.  He says everyone wants to end the school’s storied history with a victory.

    Butler: Emotions have been really high with everyone cause we are mad we lost our championship game, but then again this is our championship game the Frankford game.  All the emotions for the whole team happy excited kind of anxious to play the big game.

    mascot on court

    Fran Dougherty was a North Catholic teacher for 46 years before retiring last year.  He says he’s attended the game for more than 50 years.

    Oh yeah there’s tears in my eyes, right now as I speak to you  knowing that this will be no more.

    Dougherty says he might have to continue his Thanksgiving tradition by switching his longtime alleigance and rooting for Frankford – no matter who they play – next year.

    ticket

    Live webcast of game 11/26/09 @ 9:45 a.m.

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