Over the past few winters, Fenway Park's played host to a winter festival of hockey, building a rink across its fabled lawn in an effort to open up the special grounds to all those who could partake in its atmosphere. Starting with the Winter Classic in 2010, Fenway became something of an annual tradition, even as the outdoor hockey game's novelty began wearing thin.
This year, Fenway will reinvent itself as an offseason sports arena when it hosts the Boston College Eagles and Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a college football game on November 21st. Using that game as a centerpiece, Fenway Park is at it again with marketing the field and playing surface to a number of different outlets.
According to multiple sources and reported by Danny Ventura of The Boston Herald, there will be a press conference on October 1st to announce that a number of high school football games will be played on Thanksgiving Day as well as the day before. While details are still unknown or announced, as many as four games could be played on Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day.
Massachusetts is home to some of the oldest and most storied Thanksgiving Day rivalries in the nation. The rivalry between Wellesley and Needham dates back to 1882 and is considered the oldest public high school rivalry. The oldest continuous high school football rivalry in the United States is between Boston Latin and Boston English, which began play in 1887. Both are rumored in the Herald report to be in play on the turf.
In addition, several Massachusetts powerhouses annually play each other with bragging rights on the line. St. John's Prep plays Xaverian each year, and BC High plays Catholic Memorial out of the Catholic Conference. All four schools annually compete in one of the toughest, if not the toughest, leagues in the state. Per the report, officially at several schools refused comment.
High school football has not been actively played at Fenway for roughly 100 years. The last football game played at the stadium was a Boston Patriots victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in the old American Football League in 1968. Boston College and Notre Dame's Shamrock Series event will be the first game since that Patriots win.
Anyways, let's get you caught up as to some of the action around Massachusetts high school football.
Tonight marks the third week of high school football in Massachusetts. Several schools already established themselves as state contenders, highlighted by ESPN Boston's #1 team, Marshfield. Marshfield destroyed Stoughton last week, 31-6, and head on the road down to Dennis-Yarmouth to take on the Dolphins tonight.
Another state power is headed down the Cape as well. Xaverian's defense is showing it's going to be a really tough team to beat, shutting out Bridgewater-Raynham a week after they beat up Everett pretty good. They're headed to Barnstable, who are 0-2 after getting blown out by BC High on the road last week, 61-6.
Old friend Brian St. Pierre has St. John's Prep right back in the state title hunt. The Eagles are up to #3 in the state in the ESPN Boston poll after beating Central Catholic, 22-16. They draw Everett this week, who rebounded from their loss to the Hawks with a 23-0 win against New Bedford last week. That game is on Sunday in Danvers.
Elsewhere off the beaten path, East Bridgewater deserves some recognition after rallying from down 15-0 to defeat Hanover, 25-22, last Friday. They're still undefeated at 2-0 and are headed to Rockland this week.
And out in Central/West, Wachusett improved to 2-0 after shutting out Fitchburg, 28-0. The Mountaineers opened up the year with a 37-20 win over Holy Name and will look to stay perfect this week against Nashoba.
One last shoutout to Malden and Malden Catholic, who meet in the Rubin Bowl tonight at MacDonald Stadium. My oldest brother went to Malden High School, but my middle brother and I both went to Malden Catholic. Absolutely nothing would give me more joy than to watch my Lancers take it to the Golden Tornadoes. MHS came from behind to defeat Methuen, 37-35 a couple of weeks back but lost to Lawrence last week. MC's defense shut out Winchester last week, 14-0, keeping them perfect at 2-0. We are...MC! #PlusUltra