Following is the second in a series of Thanksgiving football previews.
Burke and New Mission are set to face each other for the first time in history at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day at Saunders Stadium in South Boston.
The game is also being called the Unity Bowl and the winning team will take home a trophy that they get to keep for the entire year.
Burke coach Byron Beaman said this exemplifies two communities unifying.
“We’re unifying two separate communities,” Beaman said. “The players come from different neighborhoods, and we are showing sportsmanship.”
The two team’s logos will be featured on the trophy, which to New Mission coach Michael Pittman-Forman is also a sign of respect.
“I think we need something like that in the community,” Pittman-Forman said of the Unity Bowl. “Thanksgiving is a very special holiday, most people watch football on Thanksgiving. It’s our last game, most of our seniors are not going to be here, so it’s special for them.”
This season is New Mission’s first ever in football and Thursday’s game is also the Titans (0-7) last chance to get a win this year. New Mission is in 5th place in the Boston City League South Division. They average 6.3 points per game and let up 29.9 points per games.
But Pittman-Forman is still optimistic.
“I think we could win against Burke and any other team on Thanksgiving Day as long as our young guys do what they’re supposed to do,” Pittman-Forman said.
Pittman-Forman also thinks his players have to be more astute to each play in order to come out victorious.
“My boys have to play smarter,” he said, “and eliminate a lot of mistakes.”
The Burke (3-7) also hasn’t been in top form this season. Burke currently holds 4th place in the South. The Bulldogs average 7.7 points per game and give up an average of 14.8 points per game.
Beaman believes stamina and a lot of effort from the beginning to the end of the game is what it will take for his squad to pull off the win against the Titans.
“We are going to have to play four quarters and do as they were coached to do,” Beaman said.
Beaman is looking forward to a competitive game.
“It’s two teams getting together,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for the staff at New Mission.Their guys will come out to win, I’m looking forward to it.”
New Mission and Burke plan to play every Thanksgiving and Beaman couldn’t be more excited.
“It’s a special game for the seniors, it is their last game of high school football and I’m looking forward to a nice competitive game,” Beaman said.
Dennis Membah is a junior at Brighton High school.
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