10:15 start time
Memorial Athletic Field, Webster
The Facts: Southbridge leads the series 50-39-2
2012 Records: Bartlett 5-5, Southbridge 4-6
Last year: Southbridge 26 Bartlett 13
By Steev Riccardo
WEBSTER – The annual Bartlett-Southbridge match-up is the granddaddy of all Thanksgiving morning football games, and this year will be the 92nd time the two rivals have met.
Throw the records out the window because anything that has happened this season will not matter when teams take the field. This game puts everything on the line—not just for the players and the schools but for the towns.
Not much has changed between Webster and Southbridge over the years. As much a rivalry on the field as off the field, neither team will be holding anything back. It’s all about getting the trophy.
Since Southbridge has been dominating the game for the last five- plus years, this game means a lot to the Indians: Not only can they finish with a winning season but also boost the pride and morale of the school and the town.
“I didn’t know what the rivalry meant until I actually played in a game; then it became big. I started getting to know some Southbridge guys, and they reminded me about the losses every year,” said senior co-captain Akeem Belnavis, who had two interceptions against the Pioneers in his sophomore year in a tough 15-14 loss.
“I want the “W.” I want to snap that streak; I’m sick of hearing them talk every year. This is a must win for the town and for the program. All we have to do is prepare, everyone has to be ready and we’ll be good,” said Belnavis.
“Playing Southbridge is not even like playing a football game,” said senior Chris Vosburg, “It’s indescribable. When I was a sophomore playing my first game against them I still remember the first play. I remember every snap of that game. You hear people come back years after they played, and they remember the final score and what happened. We haven’t beaten them since I have been playing in the game, and my freshmen year we lost to them twice (Thanksgiving Day and in the playoffs) on the same play in overtime.”
“I feel confident this year; we have a strong line and we have good athletes that find the holes,” said Vosburg. “We have Alex (Givins-Perry and other guys that can get the job done.”
“Every game with them is so memorable,” said senior co-captain Kelly Chisholm. “I feel really confident this year—more than ever about this game. We are definitely going to be prepared. We are going to be ready. Beating them would mean so much. It would be the greatest way to end the season.”
Senior co-captain Mina Zaky and senior Billy Phillips, who both suffered year-ending injuries, wish they could be on the field for the Indians, and you can see that in their eyes.
“Facing them is huge every year; they come out to play every year,” said Zaky. “It would mean a lot to beat them this year. When you are walking around Webster, and people know you are on the team they tell you that you have to beat Southbridge.”
“I know how big this rivalry was because my older brother would go to every game, and he always wanted to win those games,” said Phillips. “I want to do it for him. This game is all about heart. I know how much people in Webster care about this game. We want to win it for them.”
“The town really revolves around this game,” said Vosburg, “they all come out and watch it. It’s more than a football game now—it’s about the whole town; it’s a lot of fun.”
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- Monday, 19 November 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Sports