By Chris Villani Sports Reporter/Columnist · November 29, 2016
Time for MHS to Find Holiday Consistency
For decades, Milford football fans could count on a matchup between MHS and Shrewsbury on Thanksgiving morning. The drive when the Scarlet Hawks played on the road was relatively short and the game became increasingly competitive over the years, with Milford High dominance through the 80s and into the 90s giving way to an improved Colonials' program that got the better of the Hawks more often than not as the seniors neared its 2012 conclusion.
Since then, the holiday game has been in flux. After a two-year stint with Holy Name came to an end, Milford settled on Randolph. The matchup has had less the feel of a perfect marriage than two dance partners who joined together because everyone else was already paired up.
Granted, the first meeting between the two teams was a thriller, with Milford winning in come-from-behind fashion. But the travel is less than ideal. There's really no great or direct way to get from Milford to Randolph and fans lacking a son on the team are less likely to make the trek when their team is on the road.
Signs point to the Randolph series coming to an end after this season. Milford Athletic Director Peter Boucher has told the Crier he's interested in keeping it going, but his comments have cast doubts on whether the Blue Devils are interested in another two-year deal. If the series comes to an end, Boucher will once again be in the unenviable position of finding a dance partner while staring out onto a floor of couples, many of whom have been together for a long time.
For years, some fans have clamored for a Milford-Franklin matchup. The Panthers have dominated the Scarlet Hawks over the years, this season's victory was the first for Milford in the series in decades, but the close proximity would make it a natural fit. Unfortunately, Franklin vs. King Phillip is one of the longest rivalries in the state and is not ending any time soon.
Bellingham, Hopkinton, and Medway all have Turkey Day rivals. Nipmuc Regional would be seem to be a good fit in terms of size and the strength of the program. But the Warriors play Valley Tech. The two fields are about 50 yards apart from each other, making it perhaps the shortest commute for a rivalry game in the country.
It's unclear what the future will hold for Milford football on Thanksgiving. Both Boucher and head coach Joe Todd have consistently said they want to play someone one the holiday, but the options are few.
Whether Milford vs. Randolph continues or whether there's a new game on the horizon, hopefully it's a series that's around for more than two years. Milford fans deserve to be a part of Thanksgiving Day football and the rivalries that it builds, one of the best high school sports traditions in the state.