(WWLP) – Thanksgiving day high school football games returned to Western Massachusetts in full force on Thursday and some of them more than a century in the making.
22News was spread out all over the region to capture the return of this holiday tradition.
Longmeadow vs. East Longmeadow
In East Longmeadow the Spartans hosted the Longmeadow Lancers. A rivalry that goes back generations.
This year, East Longmeadow had the home field advantage and seniors attending the game told 22News, it’s important for them to come out and show support for their team.
“Here to see East Longmeadow beat Longmeadow and support my team…It’s our last year here we wanna make it memorable especially against our biggest rivals Longmeadow and we wanna see a win here,” said Colin Dandy of East Longmeadow.
The Spartans dominated winning 41-14.
Chicopee High vs. Comp
The two Chicopee high schools faced off for their annual “Sword Game” at Szot park. The sword game used to be played during the regular season, but was moved to Thanksgiving back in 2017.
They didn’t play last year, but the hiatus didn’t slow down one of the biggest rivalries in Western Massachusetts. “Well I think its great that people are getting out again, and not stuck inside. Going out, visiting family, seeing friends. And that’s what we’re doing here,” said Thomas Charette of Chicopee.
Chicopee Comp. took home the win with a final score of 46-14 making it seven consecutive Sword Game victories for the Colts.
Ludlow vs. Palmer
On the Legion Field in Palmer, the Palmer Panthers hosted the Ludlow Lions in another rivalry that dates back decades.
Palmer’s quarterback was impressive leading the Panthers to a dominant win. Parents and teachers cheered on their teams, saying they are happy to see the players back out on the field after missing last year due to covid restrictions.
For 70 years, these two eastern Hampden County high school football teams have faced off on Thanksgiving. And this year it was the Panthers shut out the Lions 34-0.
Agawam vs. West Springfield
West Springfield hosted a packed house of fans for their long-running rivalry game against Agawam.
22news spoke to fans who have followed this rivalry for much of their lives. “I got out of the navy in 1961, I have never missed an Agawam-West Springfield game since 1961” said Jack Rioni of West Springfield.
And the Terriers didn’t disappoint that longtime fan with a final score of 40-19.