Teams gear up for Bronx Turkey Day pigskin tradition

THE BRONX - Long-standing Bronx football traditions will continue Thursday when Cardinal Hayes takes on Mount St. Michaels and Fordham Prep faces Xavier.

With Bronx bragging rights on the line, Hayes and Mount will play each other for the 65th time in the Turkey Bowl. Mount has come out on top 26 years in a row. Hayes? last win was a 14-13 victory in 1980.

Mount?s defensive tackle Caraun Reid says it?s important for the team to forget about the past and focus on the game in front of them. In what is New York City?s oldest high school rivalry, Fordham Prep and Xavier will play each other in the Turkey Bowl for the 82nd time. Fordham leads the series and is looking for its 45th win. However, the Rams are also looking for revenge, having lost to Xavier in last year?s Turkey Bowl 28-14.

The four teams in this year?s Turkey Bowl are keeping the event all in the family. Xavier coach C.J. O?Neil used to play for Mount under head coach Mario Valentini. Valentini says he?s glad to see his former player has done a good job with the team.

Rams Head Coach Peter Gorynski is a Xavier alum. He says playing against his former school is ?kind of like a civil war, fighting against your family.? Nevertheless, he says it?s a great experience.

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