Milford Athletic Director Wants to Build Randolph Rivalry
By Chris Villani Sports Reporter/Columnist · October 14, 2016
Heading into the second of a two-year pact to play Randolph in football on Thanksgiving Day, Milford High Athletic Director Peter Boucher would like to lock in a longer term agreement with the Blue Devils and try to build a rivalry by scheduling Randolph in other sports.
"It would be great to get a familiarity with them if the Thanksgiving Day game continues," Boucher said. "I think we would be willing to play some basketball, soccer, and track and field could be something you see in the spring."
Milford will host Randolph in football this Thanksgiving after winning in come-from-behind fashion on the road last Turkey Day. Prior to the home-and-home with the Blue Devils, Milford played Holy Name for two seasons before the Naps bolted to play Auburn. Milford's longtime Thanksgiving rival, Shrewsbury, dropped its game with Milford after 2012 to play Wachusett.
Boucher has stressed playing on Thanksgiving is a priority for the program and he would like to see something develop that is stable and long term.
"We are going to be looking to play on Thanksgiving," he said. "We are committed to that as long as there are Thanksgiving Day games."
Boucher said he reached out to the Randolph athletic director recently and is looking to schedule a time to discuss whether the game will continue beyond this year.
"I really don't know where they are right now," he said, referring to Randolph's desire to continue to play Milford. "I would say my hope is we can lock someone in who is going to be a continual and ongoing presence."
Thanksgiving Day football has been a tradition in Milford with rivalries dating back over a century in some instances. Milford began playing Shrewsbury in 1976, two years after St. Mary's closed and ended the original holiday rivalry.
Having gone through the search process two years ago, Boucher said there are few programs that would be a match for Milford if the Randolph series does not continue. Among the challenges is finding a team similar to Milford in size and competitiveness, as well as one within an hour's driving distance and — most importantly — a team in need of a Thanksgiving game.
Franklin, Boucher said, would make the most sense. Given Franklin's nearly nine-decade series with King Phillip, however, a showdown between the neighboring towns is simply not possible. Boucher did mention fellow Hockomock League team Taunton, which did not have a Thanksgiving Day game last year, as a possibility.
"If that were to materialize, we would look into it," Boucher said. "Our Plan A is Randolph. If that doesn't work out, I will be on the phones looking for another game."