High school football rivalries kick off Thanksgiving

Trish Hartman Image
Thursday, November 23, 2023
High school football rivalries kick off Thanksgiving
High school football rivalries kick off Thanksgiving

HADDON HEIGHTS, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Throughout the area, high school rivalries faced off on Thanksgiving morning.

One of the staples: Camden Catholic and Paul VI.

"I come every year, it's always really cold," said Tess Bieg, who will attend Camden Catholic next year.

"Our son graduated in 2022 so it's a little emotional being here and not seeing him on the football field," said Tiffany Johnson from Pitman. "But our (other) son's a senior, he plays the drums for the pep band so it's just a tradition."

Vincent Bannon is in college now, but played football for PVI, and loved the Thanksgiving crowds.

"You just hear the crowd erupt every time something happens, every big hit, every big play," said Bannon.

People packed the stands in Haddon Heights as the Garnets took on Haddonfield for the Mayor's Trophy, a tradition of 114 years.

"We walk down. We see all the people that you've known forever that you haven't seen. Old teachers," said Sara Jane Shissler, a Haddon Heights alum.

"This is my dad's jacket," said Emily Shissler. "He won the state championship for Haddon Heights in 1970."

"Good weather," said Ramel Self of Lawnside, who was cheering for Haddon Heights. "Everything is good. Only thing -- if we could get more yardage. We need yardage!"

Jill Sweeney is cheering on her son - #63 for the Haddonfield Bulldogs - a senior playing in his final season.

"It's bittersweet," said Sweeney. "But I've been coming to this game since even before high school. My grandmother went here. My son is the fourth generation."

For so many, it's the perfect way to start the holiday.

"It puts you in a mindset, just being grateful for our community," said Emily Shissler.

In both of these games, the visiting teams beat the hosts.

PVI trounced Camden Catholic 55-0.

Haddonfield beat Haddon Heights 31-7.