HARWICH – The eight seniors representing the Cape Tech football team stood just outside The Hidden Cove Restaurant, staring down the long hallway at the entry doors. It was obvious they were awaiting guests, but just who they were waiting for might come as a surprise.
For years, as part of the annual tradition of Thanksgiving Day football between Cape Tech in Harwich and Upper Cape Tech in Bourne, the school with the home field advantage that year hosts a special breakfast for the opposing team's seniors, coaches, principal, and school superintendent.
This year it was the Crusaders that played host to the Rams, with the folks from Cape Tech welcoming their Upper Cape counterparts before digging into a hearty breakfast prepared by members of the school's culinary program, with a side of sportsmanship given that a key aspect of the event is to foster the friendly side of the longtime rivalry.
“I just think it's interesting to get together,” said Cape Tech head coach Chris Leonard. “I'd never really been a part of something like this before I came to Cape Tech. Moving up from Florida, Thanksgiving's not a big thing down there. But up here it's a big tradition, and this has become one of the big traditions, getting together and having this breakfast. I really like doing it.”
Upper Cape Tech head coach Ken Owen said he feels it's a tradition more schools could benefit from.
“It's great for seniors and administrators of both schools to see something other than just football and the competitiveness of it,” he said. “That there is a little more to this game that kind of comes through. Everybody hopefully does something like this with traditional football rivalries, and if they don't I think the kids are missing something.”
For the seniors, it's partly a chance to show off their school, and partly an opportunity to size up their respective opponents.
“We've faced them since we were freshmen, so we get to see how they've grown,” said Upper Cape Tech's Wally Alden. “And we get to experience the other school's restaurant.”
“They've been doing this for years now and I think it's a good tradition,” said Cape Tech's Juan Camilo. “They should keep it going. It's something special between the two schools.”
“I like how the teams can come together,” said Jermaine Rivera of the Crusaders. “It doesn't really seem like a rivalry when we're eating breakfast together and it's cool to see the two teams come together.”