Turkey Bowl hits 100: Calvert Hall-Loyola Blakefield more than a just game

The football teams from Calvert Hall College High School and Loyola Blakefield meet for the 100th time Thanksgiving Day, but when it comes to the pomp and circumstance preceding the Turkey Bowl, collaboration trumps territorial tendencies.

Sharing more than 340 years of history, the schools predate the Civil War. The Christian Brothers founded Calvert Hall in 1845; the Jesuits opened what is now Loyola Blakefield in 1852.

The mission they share is symbolized in the logo the boys’ schools commissioned for the centennial game (see left). It was produced by Planit Advertising, which was founded by Ed Callahan and Matt Doud, graduates of Calvert Hall and Loyola Blakefield, respectively. Both are part of multigeneration families at the schools.

Loyola Blakefield had no problem with Nelson Coffin, Calvert Hall class of 1966, writing the official, shared history,  “Turkey Bowl 100: The Storied Rivalry” (Cathedral Foundation Press). Similarly, Calvert Hall blesses St. Ignatius Loyola, a Jesuit middle school for boys, organizing and reaping the proceeds of the official game day program.

Through 2013, ad sales and compiling the program was another shared effort, coordinated by a familiar face from each school.

John Stewart, ’60, shown (top right, No. 30) leading Loyola to victory in 1959, spent decades there as a coach and administrator, and remains its special assistant for external affairs.

Doing program duty for Calvert Hall was Augie Miceli, a classroom and coaching institution (left) who died last June, weeks after completing 59 years of service to the school.

In the 1920s (right), games were played on the campuses of Johns Hopkins University and what was then Loyola College. What is believed to be the oldest continuous football series among Catholic high schools in the United States enjoyed its largest crowds on the site of Municipal (bottom left) and Memorial Stadiums.

The centennial game has meant even more hoopla than normal, as the two schools got together Oct. 11 at the Valley Mansion in Hunt Valley for a well-attended social event.

For Calvert Hall, November began with a surprise visit from Ozzie Newsome, the NFL Hall of Famer and former Ravens general manager, to deliver their custom centennial Turkey Bowl jerseys.

Five days later, the excitement at Loyola Blakefield included groundbreaking on its Innovative Learning Center, schedule to open at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.

Over the next week, CatholicReview.org will roll out other features involving the 100th Turkey Bowl.




What: Calvert Hall vs. Loyola Blakefield

Where: Johnny Unitas Stadium, Towson University

When: Nov. 28, 10 a.m.

Tickets: $10, available at both schools

TV: WMAR Ch. 2

Radio: 105.7 FM The Fan

Series: Loyola Blakefield leads, 49-42-8. Calvert Hall has won five straight and nine of the last 10.


Email Paul McMullen at pmcmullen@CatholicReview.org

Paul McMullen

Paul McMullen

Paul McMullen has served as the managing editor of the Catholic Review since 2008.

The author of two books, Paul has been involved in local media since age 12, when he began delivering The News American to 80 homes in his neighborhood. He began his journalism career with the Capital-Gazette Newspapers in Anne Arundel County, and spent more than 25 years as a sports writer for The Sun in Baltimore. His favorite writing assignments have included the Summer Olympics in Australia and Greece, the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and “Feet for Francis,” a 2015 walking pilgrimage from the Baltimore Basilica to Philadelphia to see Pope Francis.