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Welcome to the New Haven Register high school sports blog where our talented staff of Chris Hunn, Joe Morelli, Dan Nowak and Mike Pucci will keep you up to date on everything to do with high school sports in Connecticut. Mike Pucci's Gridiron Glory blog for high school football remains. We hope you enjoy and feel free to join in the conversation.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Why Thanksgiving football matters ...

This all took place at one game, but similar scenes no doubt took place all over the state, and that's why Thansgiving football matters ...

-- The disappointment of Ansonia fans parking in the Stop & Shop parking lot above Naugatuck High School upon learning the path that led from the store to the field that they've taken for more than two decades was blockaded.

-- Those same fans walking close to the mile loop back down Rubber Avenue and into the stadium.

-- A slew of shiny white jerseys taking a muddy field midway through the second half. An acknowledgement of a job well done, and a look into the future.

-- Longtime Ansonia assistant John Sponheimer running along the sideline pumping his fist in celebration ... of hearing Notre Dame-West Haven had beaten Hamden to earn a berth in the state playoffs.

-- Impromptu reunions in lines for the restrooms that go 30-40 deep, stretching past the concession stands.

-- Members of the coaching staff walking over to congratulate Alex Thomas on his performance at the Yale-Harvard game.

-- Bob Sobin having his picture taken on the sideline with two of his grandsons in the fourth quarter, Christian, who scored two touchdowns, and Julian, who recovered a fumble.

-- John "Bucky" Glenn, Ansonia's statistician walking the sideline of this game for the 67th time.

-- About a dozen ball boys and water boys, from age 3-12, each wearing Ansonia caps and wool hats, jerseys, and sweatshirts, walking the sideline, dreaming of one day being on the field for this game.

-- A high school student in a dunk tank wearing a Naugatuck jersey, laughing and taunting for a fundraiser.

-- Naugatuck players, shortly after the conclusion of their 111th meeting with Ansonia, a 36-point loss, telling members of the Chargers, "You've got one heck of a football team. Good luck in states." Many had tears in their eyes, the realization this would be the last time they play competitive football becoming reality.

-- Players trying to be interviewed as teammates ready for a joyous ride home yell out the window of the team bus.


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