High school football starts Thanksgiving tradition

Athletic Directors Mike Santangelli of Joel Barlow High School and Mark Berkowitz of Weston High School hold the 2012 commemorative shirt for the 15th anniversary of the Barlow-Weston football game on Thanksgiving Day. Half the proceeds from the sale of the shirts will be donated to the Connecticut Food Bank. —A. O’Hara photo

When Joel Barlow High School’s Falcons and Weston High School’s Trojans meet at their annual Thanksgiving Day football game this year at Barlow, a new tradition will be set. The Falcon and Trojan football teams have decided to join forces in an effort to aid a charitable organization each year.

Commemorative long-sleeve T-shirts will be sold at this year’s game for $20 each. The Booster Clubs will donate a part of the proceeds to the Connecticut Food Bank. The schools will be accepting monetary donations as well, payable directly to the Connecticut Food Bank.

The Connecticut Food Bank is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Its mission is to alleviate hunger and promote public hunger awareness.

This November marks the 15th anniversary of play on Thanksgiving Day between the two schools.

“It is our hope that both the Joel Barlow and Weston communities can set aside our rivalry and work together to help others in the true spirit of Thanksgiving,” said Mike Santangelli, Barlow’s athletic director.

Mark Berkowitz, Weston’s athletic director, said, “Weston High School is very excited to work with our close neighbor, Joel Barlow High School, to help raise money to assist the Connecticut Food Bank in their fight against hunger. We enjoy the friendly rivalry that we share with Joel Barlow in all of the sports we compete in. We also have a great deal of respect for them and the athletic program that Mike Santangeli heads. We are thrilled to begin his new tradition of Turkey Bowl T-shirts for a cause, and hope that it continues to bring our two schools and athletic programs closer together.”

Shirts will be sold at both Weston and Barlow high schools before Thanksgiving and at the game on Thursday, Nov. 22. Kickoff is at 10 a.m. at Barlow Stadium.

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