“Toss out the records,” is a well-worn cliche for rivalry games, but it has proven to be a truism throughout the years for the Winthrop-Revere Thanksgiving Day encounters.
Here’s how the pre-game news story 70 years ago in the 1941 Revere Journal described what the Winthrop-Revere game means to both the participants and the fans (and this was when the series between the two schools was not even half as old as it is today): “But like Harvard-Yale, Boston College-Holy Cross, and Army-Navy, past records count for little when Revere and Winthrop face each other on Thanksgiving Day. Through the years these traditional battles always have produced their share of thrills and spills in their long and intense rivalry which draws thousands of spectators every year.”
This year’s Turkey Day tilt at Harry Della Russo Stadium promises to be a classic. Coach Lou Cicatelli and his Patriots enter the fray with a sterling 7-2 record, while coach Jon Cadigan and the Vikings (5-5) were ranked fifth in Division 6 and were knocked out of the D-6 playoffs in the quarterfinals after a 37-34 loss to fourth-ranked Rockland.
The schools initiated their rivalry in 1913, but took “time-outs” from competition for two periods, from 1928-32 and 1947-58, when melees at the conclusion of the 1927 and 1945 contests caused school officials to sever relations.
Although Winthrop holds an overall lead in the series of 57-31-3, upsets and wild endings have been the rule rather than the exception for many of the holiday morning battles between the schools, especially in the past decade.
The long period of Winthrop Turkey Day domination, in which the Vikings claimed victories in 32 of the 35 games played between the years from 1975-2009, clearly has come to an end.
Revere has captured the last four games in a row — all of which have been tight, hard-fought battles (14-7, 17-14, 18-6, and 46-31 — there was no game in 2020) — to attain their longest winning skein in the series’ history (Revere’s other two streaks of three wins occurred in 1940-42 and 1972-74) and has won six of the past 10 games to claim a winning record in a decade for the first time since the 1960s.
Long-time Winthrop and Revere fans will recall those epic battles in the 1960s that featured legendary football players on both sides, most notably the DelGaizo twins on the Patriot side and Tank Adamson and Ron Miles for the Vikings.
Needless to say, the 2021 Patriots are savoring the opportunity to create even more Revere High football history — and similarly, the Vikings are just as determined to halt the Patriot winning streak at four games.
The contest on Thanksgiving morning has all the makings of an epic battle — and we know we join with all of our fellow Revere fans in rooting on the Patriots with the cheer, “Let’s Go, Revere, Beat Winthrop!”