Every Thanksgiving Day, Woburn and Winchester square off in a football rivalry game. So if it wasn’t Thanksgiving, why were the two teams locked up in a close contest on the turf of Woburn High School Friday night?
Several readers have asked if there has been a change to the Thanksgiving Day rivalry after seeing a regular season meeting between the Sachems and Tanners.
Football fans can find the answer by looking back into the offseason, when the coaches voted to approve a new playoff format that was proposed by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.
The object of the realignment was to set up a playoff format that will help determine a true state champion instead of holding Super Bowl games. A consequence of the change, however, is that across the state several Turkey Day rivals will find themselves playing twice during the season.
Woburn and Winchester will again square off in November as is the case annually. This year though, it will be the second time the teams see each other. And also because of the realignment, the teams could theoretically play a third time in the playoffs if things played out right.
“I’ve played in the Thanksgiving Day game myself and I’ve been coaching in it since 1970,” said Woburn head coach Rocky Nelson. “Everyone is excited about the new format. But this is one of the negatives of the change. I’m a traditionalist. I believe Woburn-Winchester is meant to be played on Thanksgiving. We’ll play again this year, but it will be different.”
What do you think about the change? Do you think the Woburn-Winchester game will have a different feeling this year? Let us know in the comments section below.