For young athletes who have grown up playing both football and baseball, the opportunity to play at one of the country’s most legendary ballparks is nothing short of a dream come true.
Those dreams will be realized Tuesday night at Fenway Park, when the football teams for BC High and Catholic Memorial square off in their annual Thanksgiving game at 7 p.m.
“I never expected to be playing football at Fenway, so I don’t think it will hit me until I get in the locker rooms and take it all in,” said CM junior Tom Fisher, who plays outfield for the baseball team and defensive back for the football team. “I’ve played baseball my whole life, so hopefully I can tell my kids about it one day.”
Bobby DeMeo, who plays cornerback on the football team and shortstop on the baseball team for BC High, said, “As a senior, it brings a whole different mentality, your last game with these kids you’ve played with for four or more years . . . but what better place to, you know, kind of put the period at the end of the sentence.”
The last meeting between CM and BC High was nearly three weeks ago in the Division 1 South semifinals, but is undoubtedly fresh in both teams’ minds. The Knights won on a last-second, 42-yard Hail Mary from QB Nick Goffredo to Jarrett Martin, stunning the Eagles and adding to the list of thrilling finishes that have highlighted this rivalry.
Revenge would be sweet for BC High, but to do it at Fenway? That’s a whole new ballgame.
“In that moment when we lost two weeks ago . . . we were already dreaming of being able to play at Gillette,” said Luke Murphy, a BC High senior who is an outfielder in baseball and a wide receiver in football. “We’re wrapping up our high school careers on this field, and playing this team that we know so well, it’ll be great to have a chance to end on a good note at a place like Fenway.”
Of the venues that have hosted this storied contest in the past — including Boston College’s Alumni Stadium — Fenway undoubtedly tops the list as the most special.
“We’re honored to have another opportunity to play at Fenway Park,” said Catholic Memorial president Dr. Peter Folan.
BC High holds the advantage with a 36-17-1 record in 54 previous Thanksgiving showdowns. The teams faced off at Fenway in 2015, with the Eagles emerging as 13-10 Thanksgiving winners. The Knights broke an 11-year Thanksgiving losing streak to BC High last season with a 41-27 win.
“It’s a great rivalry, a historic rivalry . . . and to play the game at Fenway makes it that much more special,” added CM coach Brent Williams. “To play in such a historic landmark, and to be able to say ‘I played at Fenway Park’ . . . this is an event that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.”Henry Brechter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.