It’s that time of year. With the high school football season in Massachusetts coming to a close, you see a number of great matchups on Thanksgiving.
Some people are down on the tradition, but we at NEFJ still love it, with all its flaws. This is the last time many of the student-athletes will ever put on the pads and helmet again.
For that reason alone, this is a special day.
Here is a look at the 10 best games to watch over these next few days.
No. 6 Xaverian at No. 4 St. John’s Prep — This one never disappoints. On Thursday, Xaverian takes on the Division 1 state finalist in the Prep. Both of these teams have had excellent seasons, and the word from Prep coach Brian St. Pierre is that the Eagles will not hold back because of his big game next week. This should be a lot of fun.
No. 21 Franklin at No. 5 King Philip — Another showdown between ranked teams is this battle between Franklin and KP. If King Philip beats Franklin, the Warriors will win the Hockomock League’s Kelley-Rex Division, no small feat any year, but especially this one, where the league was solid from top to bottom.
No. 3 Duxbury at Marshfield — Duxbury has been on a roll this season, as the Dragons have been one of the best teams in the state. Marshfield has three losses, but to three good teams in St. John’s Prep, King Philip, and Methuen. This game is usually one of the best on the day, and Marshfield is capable of ruining Duxbury’s undefeated season.
No. 16 Mansfield at Foxboro — This is another Hockomock showdown with big league implications at stake. Mansfield and Foxboro have had good seasons, as Mansfield’s only two losses are to Milford and North Attleboro. Foxboro has been young and taken its growing pains, but the Warriors are growing up fast and can win this game.
No. 19 Billerica at Chelmsford — One of the better games in the northern part of the state is this one between Billerica and Chelmsford. Billerica has had a great year, and only lost one game — to North Attleboro in the D3 playoffs. Chelmsford has had a breakthrough season and played Catholc Memorial tough in the playoffs.
No. 11 Wakefield at Melrose — This is usually one of the better games in the Middlesex League, and should be again. Melrose has had a huge amount of playoff success over the years, but this year, it’s Wakefield that holds that honor. The Warriors are in the D3 state title game against Milton, and hope to beat Melrose again after doing so last year.
Brockton vs. Bridgewater-Raynham — This one will be played Wednesday night at Fenway Park, in what should be a great atmosphere for these two rivals. Overall, B-R has had the better of this series, but the Boxers have won the last two. Brockton has been electric offensively, while B-R has continued to improve.
Wachusett at Shrewsbury — Maybe the best game in Central Mass. is this one between these two top programs. Wachusett has had a strong season, as has Shrewsbury. Although Wachusett is probably favored here, Shrewsbury won this game a year ago, and can do so again.
Wellesley at Needham — The oldest public high school rivalry, this is always one of the best games of the day. Wellesley is the better team this year, as the Raiders hold a 7-3 record and Needham sits at 5-5. That does not mean the Rockets can’t win, though, as this is one of those games where you can truly throw the records out the window.
Boston Latin vs. Boston English — In the modern era, Boston Latin has dominated this game that takes place at Harvard. Despite that, English won this one a year ago, and is capable of winning again. This series began in 1887 and is one of the most tradition-rich not just here, but in the country.