(WWLP) – Thanksgiving day high school football games returned to western Massachusetts in full force on Thursday, renewing holiday rivalries that are decades and sometimes more than a century in the making.
22News was spread out all over the region to capture the return of this holiday tradition:
Smith Vocational vs. Franklin Tech
In Turners falls the Vikings of Smith Vocational visited Franklin Tech. This is a new thanksgiving day matchup for these teams.
“Started off playing against Pioneer Valley and then they didn’t have enough kids to see the football team Smith Voc they never played on Thanksgiving so we were like… we’ll take ’em”, said Tim Fritz.
It was a big game for the Eagles’ Josiah Little, who ran for 253 yard to bring his season total over 1,000 yards.
In the end the home team got the win with Franklin Tech. coming out on top final score 32-16.
Pathfinder vs. Belchertown
Families from Palmer and Belchertown bundled up for their rivalry. This year’s matchup was in Belchertown.
The Orioles went up six nothing on a touchdown pass and added a two-point conversion for good measure.
Christine White’s son plays for Belchertown said, “it’s great to have them back out there and having the best time of their life. They are making memories!”
Belchertown took this one in front of the home crowd winning 44-8.
South Hadley vs. Holyoke
The South Hadley Tigers and the Holyoke Purple Knights faced off at Holyoke High School.
This year’s edition of the annual matchup was tight, but ultimately Holyoke received bragging rights, winning 36-30.
Northampton vs. Easthampton
Northampton High School took on their longtime rivals in Easthampton at Smith Vocational School.
The Northampton Blue Devils were able to beat the Easthampton Eagles 16-8. It’s the sixth thanksgiving that the Blue Devils have come home with the win.
Quaboag vs. Ware
The Quaboag Cougars took on the Ware Indians Wednesday night in the cold November air at Ware Junior Senior High School.
Cougars got the win of 22-7.
Mahar vs. Athol
Athol hosted Mahar in the oldest Thanksgiving football rivalry in western Massachusetts the Bears vs. the Senators.
This high school rivalry dates back to the 19th century when the schools first played in 1894
And students watching in the crowd were fired up.
“This is great man look at the crowd man it’s nice it’s real nice…I’d be more happy if we were winning right now but… having a good time Thanksgiving Day eating some nice turkey later” said Deezel Clair at Athol High School.
The Athol Bears came out on top beating the Senators 52-12.