This issue has been creeping-up for a number of years.

The NJSIAA points system and playoff structure has been on an unavoidable collision course with this nearly 100 year Thanksgiving Day football game tradition.

It’s abundantly clear that the NJSIAA would like to see the end to all Thanksgiving Day football games. They like things tidy and this game doesn’t fit in their box.

Right up front, let me say that I am an unwavering advocate of keeping the annual Atlantic City High School versus Holy Spirit High School football game on Thanksgiving Day.

We had some definitive on-air interviews on this topic with Frank Campo, Steve Normane, Andrew DiPasquale, David Bean, Bobby Weiss, Bernie Marczyk and Yogi Hiltner.

With the group above, there’s a combined more than 200 years of experience with this rivalry game.

Campo spent 43 years within the Atlantic City Public Schools District … 26 of those years as the Director of Athletics.

Campo has a lot of direct experience with the NJSIAA. He knows exactly how they are thinking about this subject.

With the New Jersey high school football season starting earlier, Atlantic City High School will have gone 27 days without playing a game in the run-up to the Thanksgiving Day game.

Had Atlantic City not made the NJSIAA Playoffs, it would have been an even longer idle waiting period.

Holy Spirit went deeper into the parochial playoffs, giving them less off time before the Thanksgiving Day game.

Campo wants the game to continue as is … yet, as a former head coach and athletic director, he recognizes that the current system is not conducive for this wishes of the NJSIAA.

Normane unconditionally and enthusiastically supports the continuation of the Thanksgiving Day game to continue for another 100 years and beyond.

Normane made a great suggestion to move the 100th Anniversary game (2028) back inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.

There are logistics, such as the size of the available area and cost of laying down a field that would have to be overcome.

But, it’s a great idea and it would be a wonderful community event.

Weiss, Bean and Marczyk discussed their love of the tradition, however, each objectively discussed the current realities.

For this annual tradition to continue, I strongly believe that the public will have to be heard.

Subtle pressure is being brought to bear bybtye NJSIAA to end the Thanksgiving Day games throughout the state of New Jersey.

Many schools have already discontinued playing on Thanksgiving Day.

The Thanksgiving Day holiday is the only time that many people return home each year.

Atlantic City and Holy Spirit should never surrender this tradition.

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