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Top 10 Best And Worst Turkey Day Rivalries In Central Mass Football

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

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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

SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE / BRETT CRAWFORD Leominster's Cortez Ludden gets air born while being tackled by Fitchburg's defense during Thursday's Thanksgiving Day game at Doyle Field.

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

Nashoba defensive back Robert Atwood breaks up a pass intended for North MiddlesexÕs Matt Wetherell (left). SUN/ED NISER

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

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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

SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE / BRETT CRAWFORD Lunenburg's Harrison Arciprete (top center) celebrates with teammates after their 48-25 victory over St. Bernard's in Wednesday's Thanksgiving Eve game.

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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21 Comment(s)
  • Some Resident
    November 24, 2017 at 10:17 am

    I always saw Leicester and Auburn to be much better rivals than David Prouty and Leicester. Call me crazy all you want but both high school football teams are more competitive and tough

  • Lisa
    November 24, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Um, west boylston came in top 4 in state, so….plus they beat assabet as always, so incorrect info

  • Frogshit
    November 24, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    When I was a kid, in the seventies, (ya, I’m fucking old as dirt!) the Oxford Pirates ruled the High School football world!
    As time went on something faded…. Wussification set in. Political correctness took over. Ah…. Fuck it… I’m old!

  • lambodiesel
    November 27, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    If Milford ever was remotely a central mass school, that went out the window when they joined Hockomock League, which is unequivocally an eastern mass conference. Look at the teams: Attleboro, North Attleboro, Mansfield, Foxboro, Franklin, Stoughton, Sharon, Oliver Ames (Easton) Canton and Taunton. Any way you cut it, that’s not central mass….not even close.

  • juror seven
    November 27, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    By the way, that is a great picture of the ‘A’ field with the old H & R building in the background. My guess is that it was taken in the early to mid 50’s.

    • November 28, 2015 at 12:00 am


  • Peterpan
    November 27, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Spm St. Johns is the oldest Catholic school rivalry in the country. that being said it isn’t what it used to be and is a buy week for St. Johns and its only seemingly going to get worse in the futrue. St Peters should play holy name and St Johns needs to play a larger schoool like wachusett. Leaving a Shrewsbury auburn matchup of the burbs.

  • Band Mom
    November 26, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I think everyone in attendance would agree Randolph-Milford was a GREAT game and match up right down to the bitter end.
    Thanks for coming out, Milford. We hope you felt welcomed and enjoyed your time in Randolph.

    Blue Devil Proud

  • Ball boy
    November 26, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    No one over age 17 should give a shit about any of this, seriously.

  • juror seven
    November 26, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Tahanto had varsity football for years. Eliminated it when they couldn’t find enough boys to be competitive. I think they did or may still co-op with West Boylston. By the way turtleboy the city public schools did not do the Thanksgiving thing at all for years. However the old Inter-High set up in all sports produced some great games year in and year out no matter what the sport. At the same time Boy’s Trade held their own in Football. You’re way too young to remember how BIG high school sports, all sports, once were in the city. 12 high schools fielded teams in basketball and baseball. 8 had football.

  • Reddog
    November 26, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    I’m surprised Tracy Crowe hasn’t cancelled the football program at Prouty yet

  • Frogshit
    November 26, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I’m an Oxford Alum…. I’m sad….
    Back in the Seventies we ruled!

    • True Reality Speaks
      True Reality Speaks
      December 1, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      Oxford never ruled Auburn in any decade – at best Oxford was just south of .500 in the seventies and eighties against the Dandies on Thanksgiving. Maybe the Pirates could get a match up with Venerini?

  • EMass person reading CMass blog
    November 26, 2015 at 11:13 am

    How appropriate. Milford who is awkwardly thrown in the Hockomock League akwardly plays schools from CMass on thanksgiving. I was wonderingn why I never cared about that school.

  • Red raider
    November 26, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Hopefully Fitchburg kicks some Blu Devil Ass today!

  • Wormtown Refugee
    November 26, 2015 at 7:57 am

    I know it’s E Mass, not Central, but Needham/Wellesley used to be one of the greatest HS football rivalries in the country, until John Henry pimped the game out to his shakedown operation at Fenway Park. So much for tradition, eventually it’s all about the money. Sad.

  • JayC
    November 26, 2015 at 6:37 am

    It wasn’t until about 20 years ago that Northbridge and Uxbridge played each other on Thanksgiving, which makes sense geographically. Northbridge played Millbury for decades and it was a much better match-up. BVT vs. Nipmuc is one of those under the radar games, with the schools being across the street from eachother. BVT is a fast paced competitive team has developed a great program and gets good players from all the towns (Milford, Bellingham, etc).

  • Matthew
    November 26, 2015 at 1:57 am

    Clinton vs Maynard too eastern ma

  • CHUD
    November 26, 2015 at 12:04 am

    Oxford pussed out of their annual game with Auburn a few years ago because they got sick of getting their asses kicked.

  • Coffee Turtle
    November 25, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    Sutton-BMR are perennial dual valley conference rivals within their respective sports programs, but I would prefer my Sammies be playing someone else on turkey day. Like, say, millbury? Because if it weren’t for millbury, Sutton wouldn’t have football.

    • The Philistine
      November 26, 2015 at 7:53 am

      Didn’t you guys merge with Douglas to form a team? Neither big enough on their own?

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