With Stepinac preparing to play in Saturday’s CHSFL AAA final and possibly in the Catholic state championship game the following weekend, Stepinac and White Plains have decided to cancel this year’s Turkey Bowl.
If Stepinac were to win on Saturday, it would not be permitted to play both championship games and the Turkey Bowl in what amounts to a one-week span.
This will be the second straight year the teams will not play their annual Turkey Bowl, which dates to 1971. They played 42 straight years from 1971-2012 before the game was canceled last year. White Plains won the Section 1 Class AA championship last season and was not eligible to play on Thanksgiving after participating in the state playoffs.
White Plains holds a 27-15 edge in the all-time series, although Stepinac has won six of the last seven, including three straight.
Here’s a press release announcing the decision:
In a joint decision between White Plains High School and Archbishop Stepinac High School, it has been announced that this year’s Turkey Bowl — slated for Thursday, Nov. 27 — has been cancelled.
Stepinac High School athletic director, Michael O’Donnell, cited an issue with the New York State Sports Standards as the problem.
Stepinac has had a successful season to date, putting itself in a position to possibly continue playing past Thanksgiving Day. If Stepinac were to advance to the inaugural Catholic High School State football title game between the New York CHSFL Champion and the Buffalo Catholic League Champion (scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 30), it would not have the required rest between contests. The New York State Sports Standard requires four nights between contests.
“The game is a great tradition for both schools and the White Plains Community,” O’Donnell said. “It is a shame that we will not be playing in it this year. We could not give White Plains a 100 percent commitment to play the game and it was not fair for them to sit around and wait for a possible game.”
• Here is a look at New York’s Sports Standards that specify how many nights’ rest a team needs between games: