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Milford High Commits to Thanksgiving Game, Not Foe
Milford High School will be playing football on Thanksgiving Day, but may not be playing the same opponent the Scarlet Hawks took on this year, the program's head coach and athletic director said.
"We love to play anybody on Thanksgiving," head coach Joe Todd said before the team's scheduled Turkey Day bout against Randolph. ""The chance to play football on Thanksgiving morning, this is like two strangers that love to play football. It's a good opportunity to play a competitive team and on the traditional day."
Randolph is the third Thanksgiving opponent Milford has faced in the past four years. After a decades-long rivalry with Shrewsbury cam to an end after 2012, Milford played Holy Name of Worcester for the past two years before the Naps bolted to play Auburn. The Scarlet Hawks turned to Randolph, one of only three programs without a holiday dance party, according to Athletic Director Peter Boucher.
"There are not a lot of teams moving around on Thanksgiving, we grabbed a good matchup out of the possibilities," he said. "I am excited for the game. Last year when we were looking at this, we felt both teams were in a similar position trying to restore great programs to where their communities feel they should be."
Neither Todd nor Boucher would commit to playing Randolph - about a 55-minute drive from Milford - beyond the scheduled two-year contract.
"I hope we go through the contract and...reassess it after that," Todd said, "It's like anything, rivalries can be short term and be fine. I guess we will see after the second year."
"We agreed to two years and then we will see where we go," Boucher said, adding that he expects he and his counterpart in Randolph will connect in early December to evaluate the first game between the two schools. "We will talk and say 'hey, what did you think? What was the crowd like? What was the game like?' I think that is what will matter, was it competitive?"
Boucher said the distance and the lack of a direct route between the two towns would not serve as a major factor as to whether the series continues. The AD said he would like Milford's Thanksgiving opponent to be within 90 minutes of MHS. After playing at Randolph this season, the Scarlet Hawks will host the holiday game in 2016. While it's unclear who Milford will play in 2017, the administration's plan is that they will be playing on the fourth Thursday in November.
"I am a traditionalist, I like the idea of Thanksgiving playoffs as long as it doesn't really butt heads with a playoff situation," Boucher said. "I would like to see us remain in a Thanksgiving game. I like the idea of getting up and going to the game as a spectator, as the AD, as a former athlete."
"It may not make sense rivalry wise, but all that stuff aside, I would never want Thanksgiving football to go away," Todd said. "That's what football is all about."




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