After an 88-year absence, high school football is returning to Fenway Park.
The home of the Red Sox will host four football games Thanksgiving week, according to Red Sox chief operating officer Sam Kennedy. An official announcement will be made Thursday.
On Wednesday, Nov. 25 — the day before Thanksgiving — there will be a Catholic Conference doubleheader. St. John’s Prep will play Xaverian at approximately 4 p.m., followed by BC High facing Catholic Memorial at 7 p.m.
On Thanksgiving, Wellesley will play Needham at 9 a.m. followed by Boston Latin taking on Boston English at 12:30. Needham-Wellesley is the oldest public school Thanksgiving rivalry in the country, first playing in 1882. Latin-English is the oldest continuous Thanksgiving rivalry, starting in 1887 and playing every year since.
“We were hoping to achieve what we did with the City of Boston with the Winter Classic in 2010,” said Kennedy. “We thought it would be great then to expand the use of the rink to include more people. We opened it up for some high school games and we thought it would be appropriate for football. We have Notre Dame coming in. We thought we’d do more than just host college football and open it up for the great New England tradition of Thanksgiving football.”
The schools jumped at the chance.
“It’s been a great reaction,” said Kennedy, himself a Brookline High graduate. “I think it will be the opportunity of a lifetime for the kids to play at Fenway park. The programs were very excited.”
Not to mention the city and Mayor Marty Walsh.
“The city was very favorable and suggested a few of the matchups, the Boston Latin, Boston English game specifically.”
There are still details to work out for the first high school football games at Fenway since 1927. One is money.
“It’s not costing the teams anything. We want to make a contribution back to their athletic departments,” said Kennedy. “These are great community events and we want to make sure people don’t lose out by participating.”
Ticket prices haven’t been set. More information will be announced Thursday.
On Nov. 24, 1927, there was a tripleheader at Fenway with Boston English playing Boston Latin, Dorchester playing High School of Commerce, and Pere Marquette playing the Fitton Athletic Club. In all, there were 15 games at Fenway in 1927. High school hockey and baseball teams have played there since, but not football teams.
In Fenway’s first year of 1912, it hosted the National High School Football Championship Game. In the early years, high school football was a regular at Fenway.
And in the latest announcement from Fenway, the 103-year old park will host a big air ski and snowboarding competition in February.
But before the snow, high school football returns to Fenway Park.
Wednesday, Nov. 25
St. John’s Prep vs. Xaverian, 4 p.m.*
BC High vs Catholic Memorial, 7 p.m.*
Wellesley vs. Needham, 9 a.m.
Boston Latin vs. Boston English, 12:30
* times could be adjusted
Reach Bob Holmes at firstname.lastname@example.org.