After today, only two Thanksgiving Day rivalry high school football games remain in New Jersey.
Pleasantville High School just defeated Ocean City High School in their centenary (100th meeting) and final game, 40-21.
They have decided to postpone their rivalry match to August 2023 in the Battle by the Beach showcase event.
Millville High School vs. Vineland High School will continue their streak which is currently 151 years old.
When this annual Thanksgiving game began, the (18th) President of the United States was Ulysses S. Grant. Imagine that.
Holy Spirit High School vs. Atlantic City will continue in the future. Today’s 94th Annual Meeting was won by Holy Spirit 63-34 at home in Ed Byrnes Stadium. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States, was in office.
Today was also a record day as Holy Spirit wide receiver Gavin Roman broke New Jersey’s state record for single-season receptions.
Roman caught 10 passes for the game, which earned him 112 receptions for the season. This broke the previous national record by exactly 1 reception. The former record holder was Mike O’Brien in 1997.
Holy Spirit Head Football Coach Andrew DiPasquale finishes his freshman season 9-2, including a trip to the NJSSIA non-public semifinal game.
That was today’s bottom line and the head coach’s “cliff notes,” but this is where our story really begins.
The Holy Spirit knows how to do it right. When legendary head coach Ed Byrnes died suddenly of a heart attack in February 1996, Holy Spirit High School and its close-knit community stood behind the Byrnes Family.
The decision was made to officially name the Holy Spirit football complex… “Ed Byrnes Stadium”.
Today’s viewership and general excitement at Holy Spirit High School proves why the Thanksgiving game against Atlantic City is so meaningful.
This also marks 100 years for Holy Spirit as a high school.
Countless alumni celebrated this morning in the school canteen.
This party and carnival atmosphere spread throughout the complex. The Heilig-Geist-Grandstands were filled to capacity and the standing room only crowd was as large or larger than that in the stands.
Former Holy Spirit players, cheerleaders and other alumni from many generations attended.
Holy Spirit High also held a beautiful naming ceremony at halftime after Andy Applegate.
Applegate served as the public address announcer for Holy Spirit Football for 37 years.
Holy Spirit officially named the press box “Holy Spirit Spartans Applegate Press Box”.
This is consistent with how the Holy Spirit always does what is right.
Holy Spirt athletics director Steve Normane surprised Applegate and asked him to return to the press box and attend to the PA, which announced duties for the second half of tonight’s game.
The crowd met Applegate’s return with broad approval.
Today’s jubilant atmosphere at Holy Spirit High School made it clear why the Thanksgiving Day game is so important.
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