Loyola and Calvert Hall would have met for the 101st consecutive year

by Gary Adornato

The 2020 Turkey Bowl, a 100-year old annual tradition, will not make it to 101 consecutive years, as the school’s announced the game will not take place next Thursday, as scheduled, per an Executive Order enacted by Baltimore County, which went into effect at 5:00 p.m. Friday evening, restricting outdoor gatherings, including high school athletics.

The game was feared to have been lost in 2020 back in September when the start of the Fall sports season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the state announced in October that high school athletics were cleared to resume, the MIAA and IAAM approved an open-season in which its member schools could pursue athletic events, at their discretion, outside of league governance.

At that moment, many schools scheduled and began competing in events in numerous fall sports, and the Turkey Bowl was scheduled to be played on Thanksgiving at Calvert Hall, with limited fans allowed to attend, but the traditional television broadcast on WMAR.

Some athletic events, involving schools outside of Baltimore County, remain scheduled, including football games between Loyola at St. Mary’s and St. Vincent Pallotti at Mount St. Joseph on Saturday. Many schools that participated in the open season have already completed their schedules, but the fait of the other remaining events, beyond this weekend, are now in doubt.

Here is the joint statement issued by Calvert Hall and Loyola on the cancellation of the 2020 Turkey Bowl:

When our schools reopened for the 2020-21 academic year, students returned to campuses that felt different than the ones they left in March. Although the year began with a sense of unease and a healthy level of trepidation, our school communities quickly found their groove. A turning point was the commencement of an abbreviated fall sports season. With that came the anticipation of celebrating the 101st Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving morning. With the issuance of the Executive Order restricting gatherings and high school sports contests in Baltimore County, we sincerely regret that this treasured tradition will not be held in 2020. We respect the efforts of Baltimore County government leadership to safeguard its citizens and we share a desire to do our part to avoid contributing to the soaring COVID-19 metrics in our region. While there is disappointment felt by members of our school communities, most especially the student-athletes and coaches who have prepared for this annual matchup, there is also a shared sense of gratitude for the many blessings this school year has already delivered. As we all celebrate Thanksgiving this year, let us honor the proud legacy that 100 years of Turkey Bowl history have brought to the Cardinal and Dons faithful. We look forward to resuming this storied rivalry and having you join us in the stands to cheer on two of the finest Catholic institutions in the nation. Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!