The program featured the annual Easton vs. Phillipsburg football preview. This year we traveled to Flynn’s on the Hill in Phillipsburg for the big event. The traditional game began in the same year as Rotary - 1905. Then, as now, it was played at Lafayette College. The cheerleader coaches introduced the senior captains. Both coaches spoke about how the cheerleading teams practiced together for a joint cheer. Both squads collected food in large baskets that were exchanged and then distributed to local families.
Phillipsburg Head Football Coach Frank Duffy grew up with the game and participated in it whilst playing for the Stateliners. He lamented that time often goes by so fast that we don’t take the time to appreciate what we have. The absence of the game in 2020 taught him the lesson that playing the game is more important than the outcome. He believes that the 2020 heartbreak will make us all stronger because we know what it is like to have something taken away. In many ways, a piece of all of us was missing in 2020. People who move here don’t understand the tradition at first but they learn quickly. You can feel it.
Easton Athletic Director Jim Pokrivsak is overseeing his final Thanksgiving Day game. He also was a participant back in his playing days. Easton Head Football Coach Jeff Braido spoke of how the Phillipsburg neighborhoods remind him of Easton. If there was no river to separate us we would be one town. He stresses community service with his players. During a recent volunteer outing at the Miracle League, the players found themselves volunteering at the same time as the Phillipsburg players. He spoke of how students in recent years have had to endure a lot of strange things but he predicts it will help them ultimately become better people.