Portland and Deering prep for Thanksgiving game

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- While everyone else moves on to winter sports, the Bulldogs and the Rams are getting ready for for one more week of football practice and one more game.

"It makes you feel like a little superstar, kind of," says Portland's Vinnie Pasquali. "Playing on Thanksgiving... you don't really get to play on holidays."

These kids are keeping a rivalry alive that dates back more than a century. The first Deering vs. Portland Thanksgiving game was held in 1911.

"Being able to play in anything that's been going for a hundred years is just a privilege," says Deering senior Aryz Terlaje.

"We all gather together Wedenday night, guys from the forties, fifties, sixties," says Bulldogs Head Coach Jim Hartman. "That big reunion, and having those guys come back and talk to our guys is a pretty special event."

In the past few years, some have commented that Portland-Deering turkey day tradition might be on its last legs because of dwindling crowds.

If you want to see the annual event continue for another century, Deering's Head Coach, Jason Jackson, says show up and cheer.

"What I'd like to see happen is the numbers increase of people supporting it," says Jackson. "If the numbers don't increase, then people have no right to be bitter about the game no longer being the game."

For seniors, its their last stand. They get one more chance at high school football glory.

"I get to play, I get to enjoy my time with family after that," says Portland senior Randy Mancia. "I think it's just going to be a good day overall."

Portland has a win streak going in the Thanksgiving game. The Bulldogs have won the last four straight.

Kickoff will be at 10:30 a.m. at Fitzpatrick stadium.
 

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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