What are the Top 10 Best And Worst Turkey Day Rivalries In Central Mass Football?
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Thanksgiving is traditionally a big deal for high school football. You’re supposed to play your archrival and it’s supposed to be a game that evokes tradition and nostalgia. Some of the Turkey Day match ups in Central Mass are better than others. Here are the 10 best and 10 worst Thanksgiving football rivalries in Central Mass.
10 Best Rivalries
10. Gardner vs. Oakmont
This one makes sense because Gardner is kind of sandwiched between Ashburnham and Westminster. Downside is that it’s kind of far and no one wants to wake up early in the morning and travel to Ashburnham. Oakmont leads all time series 21-14.
9. Westboro vs. Algonquin
Westboro leads this all time series 40-21, so this series isn’t that close. These schools are natural rivals though, so it’s a good matchup. The downfall is that neither school is usually very good at football.
8. Wachusett vs. Shrewsbury
For years Wachusett would play Holy Name and Shrewsbury would play Milford on Turkey Day. Neither of those made any sense. Wachusett and Shrewsbury are natural rivals and this should’ve been the matchup since the beginning of time. Both are huge schools, both do well in most sports, including football, and they’re not that far apart. Wachusett leads the all time series 4-2.
7. Grafton vs. Millbury
I always thought Auburn was a better rivalry for Millbury, but this is a pretty good one. Two smaller schools right outside of Worcester. It’s got the whole, “your Dad’s work for our Dad’s” thing going on too, which adds some spice to the gravy. It’s kind of a newer series though, and one that Millbury has dominated 14-4.
6. North vs. South
This would be a really cool matchup if both of these teams weren’t perpetually two of the worst teams in Central Mass. But at least you know it’s gonna be a good game no matter how many losses each time piled up. This is the one game both teams have circled because no matter how many games they lost this is the one where they actually have a chance of winning it. I feel like South has a natural rivalry with Doherty, and back when Turtleboy was in school that’s who we played. The problem is we got creamed routinely. Now they play the Polar Bears and it’s pretty even (8-8 all time).
5. Leicester vs. David Prouty
The Route 9 blue-collar shuffle is the perfect matchup. Similar sized schools with similar communities. The only difference is that one team gets to take dumps at school and the other one can’t because there’s no doors on the bathroom stalls. Naturally this has given Leicester the 28-17 all time advantage.
4. Southbridge vs. Bartlett
Webster and Southbridge, two of Turtleboy’s favorite vacation getaways. It’s where Worcester’s finest goes when they need to lay low from the fuzz. You couldn’t possibly pair together two towns that deserve each other more than these two. It’s one of the oldest rivalries in Central Mass, and one of the most competitive. Southbridge leads the all time series 52-40-2.
3. Marlboro vs. Hudson
Perfect rivalry. Two cities directly on top of each other. One of them is a little bit nicer than the other, which once again gives you the “your Dad’s work for our Dad’s” feel to it. This is the 101st time they’ll meet on Thanksgiving with Marlboro holding the 56-41-3 advantage.
2. St. John’s vs. St. Peter Marian
I feel like this used to be a lot more competitive, which keeps it from being #1. They’ve got two of the biggest alumni followings and more importantly they genuinely hate each other. But in the last 15 years or so, this hasn’t really been much of a contest. SPM ain’t what it used to be, but they always give the Pioneers their best shot at Fitton Field. Nevertheless St. John’s owns them with an all time record of 54-29-6 on Turkey Day.
1. Leominster vs. Fitchburg
Football is like a disease in the twin cities. All the signs in Fitchburg are red, and in Leominster they’re blue. I’m not even kidding when I say that Fitchburg grads won’t buy their dream home if it’s in Leominster, lest their children become Blue Devils. And it works both ways. Go to a game at Crocker Field on Thanksgiving. There’s nothing like it. For years this rivalry was perfectly balanced, but as of late Leominster has owned it. Thus they lead the all time Turkey Day series 56-45-6.
10 Worst Rivalries
10. Auburn vs. Holy Name
Holy Name screws everything up because they’re the leftover catholic school. Auburn screws everything up because traditionally they beat the crap out of all the towns that border them. They played Oxford for years but apparently those teams were slaughter, so naturally they tossed these two teams together. They’re both normally good programs, but they’re the orphan children of their conferences. This will be the first time they’ve ever played on Thanksgiving.
9. North Middlesex vs. Nashoba
Geographically this one makes sense. They’re both way up there on 495, they both draw from three towns, and they’re only slightly different in student population. But the smaller school (Nashoba) completely owns the bigger school (NM) and has a 17-3 record on Turkey Day.
8. Sutton vs. Blackstone-Millville
I didn’t even know either of these schools had a football team. But I guess they do. Sutton leads the all time series 2-0.
7. Northbridge vs. Uxbridge
Geographically this one makes sense. Northbridge is really Whitinsville, and Whitinsville is basically part of Uxbridge. The problem is that Northbridge is year in and year out one of the best teams in the state and they own the all time series lead 16-4.
6. Burncoat vs. Doherty
Doherty is vastly superior to the other three Worcester Public Schools and it’s not even close. Sure, sometimes Burncoat, South, or North will get nasty and give them a challenge, but for whatever reason Doherty dominates. North vs. South is an actual rivalry, thus Burncoat draws the short stick and has to play Doherty every year.
5. Shepherd Hill vs. Tantasqua
Both of these are regional schools with over 1,000 students, who happen to be geographically located in a sea of small town schools. But that’s about all they have in common. Shepherd Hill is nasty pretty much every year and Tantasqua usually sucks. Thus the all time series is 33-7 in favor of the Hill.
4. Lunenburg vs. Quabbin
Nothing says rivalry like taking a 50 minute bus trip from Barre to Lunenburg. Seriously though, this is a prime example of leftover orphan schools that are just happy they found someone to play with. Especially Lunenburg, who had their Thanksgiving game cancelled two years ago when two of the world’s biggest a-holes framed the football team by writing racial slurs on their own home. This will be the first matchup between these two teams.
3. Oxford vs. Bay Path
I don’t know if you could pick a less interesting matchup than this one. What the hell happened to Oxford? When Turtleboy was in school they were DOMINANT!! Now they’re playing a Voke school. Oh how the mighty have fallen. They’re also losing the all time series 2-0.
2. Assabet vs. West Boylston
Speaking of leftover schools, what the hell does a tech school in Marlboro have to do with a small school next to Worcester? Nothing. But until Tahanto gets a team, WB will just have to be happy they get to play on Thanksgiving at all. Assabet leads the all time series 2-0.
1. Milford vs. Randolph
Is Milford in Central Mass? I feel like you could spend a day debating that. I say yes because they always were back in the day. The problem is that they’re a bigger school but all the CMass schools near them (Hopedale, Nipmuc, BMR) are small. So they’re kind of Massachusetts’ orphan school who needs someone to play with. Anyone will do really. Even Goddamn RANDOLPH. Because what’s more traditional than the rivalry between Milford and RANDOLPH??
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