The Turkey Bowl has been one of the biggest football games for two high schools in the Baltimore area for nearly a century. Calvert Hall College and Loyola Blakefield have competed against each other every Thanksgiving morning for 93 years. In fact, it’s the oldest continuous Catholic prep-school football rivalry in the United States. Loyola has taken home the trophy 48 times while Calvert Hall has now taken it home only 37 times. The schools have tied on 8 occasions. Most of the time, the winning school wins more than two years in a row with the longest winning streak belonging to Loyola with 11 consecutive wins.
Calvert Hall has won the Turkey Bowl for the past four years. From 2009 to 2011, Calvert Hall has virtually dominated the game on Thanksgiving morning. However, this year was a nail biter. For most of the game it appeared the teams would compete for the trophy in overtime. With less than two minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, junior quarterback Colar Kuhns threw a pass to senior wide receiver Logan Kurek who ran the ball for a touchdown completing an 83-yard play. On top of the Calvert Hall win, senior Garrett Keene was reported to have the most wins in Calvert Hall football history with a total of 38 wins over 4 years on the varsity football team.
If you talk to anyone who attends the Turkey Bowl, whether they’re from Calvert Hall or Loyola, a player or a fan, or even a member of the media, they will tell you of the atmosphere in the stadium. The energy brought in to the stadium by the fans is remarkable. The game feels almost like when the Ravens play the Steelers. There are fans wearing team jersey’s, signs being raised, face and body paint, and even the occasional costume in the stands.
The rivalry between Calvert Hall and Loyola is a rivalry with respect for the opposition. There is no chanting against the other team, only chants for your own team. The players play their hearts out against each other to win, but at the end of the game they all shake hands respectfully and congratulate each other on a great performance.
As a student of Calvert Hall, the Turkey Bowl has been one of my most memorable experiences I’ve had in high school. The energy leading up to the game is incredible. The younger alumni come back to school to visit and the older alumni congregate the night before. A few bars and restaurants in Baltimore even open the day of the game for people to gather and watch it on TV. Perhaps the most common question around school and amongst alumni is “Are you going to The Game?”
The Turkey Bowl is one of the greatest traditions I’ve even been a part of. If you asked other students, players, or alumni from either school, I’m sure they would tell you the same. When I graduate in the coming months, I look forward to taking part in the alumni traditions before and attending the game for many years to come.
Copyright (c) Nov. 25, 2012 CatholicReview.org