By Julie McCay Turner
Thanksgiving in Bedford is about three lively sporting events, as well as gatherings of family and friends.
Was there a common thread? It could’ve been the events’ intergenerational appeal. Moms, Dads, and kids ran or walked together in the Turkey Trot. The BUCs’ retiring senior players and cheerleaders honored their parents in a pre-game ceremony. And at least one grandmother noted that she had been coming to the Thanksgiving morning football game for years: first for her son, and this year for her grandson’s final game. And the youngest fan at this morning’s hockey game was three-month-old Martin Anderson, who napped through the clamor of a hard-fought game.
The 10th Annual Turkey Trot
This year’s Turkey Trot drew 342 runners and walkers to the Middle School early on Thanksgiving morning.
The popular race “sold out” the week before Thanksgiving when its maximum number of runners was reached (the number was set this year to assure safety on the course). The funds raised will benefit the Bedford Pantry and Community Table.
Most races have water stops, but this year the Turkey Trot featured a rest stop on Bedford Common, complete with gravy along with the more prosaic water.
“Uncle Smashy’s Turkey Trot Rest Spot” collected donations to benefit the Pantry, in exchange for sips of the runners’ first gravy of the day.
2016 Thanksgiving Classic Football
Later in the morning, the BHS Buccaneers met the Concord-Carlisle Patriots for the 2016 Thanksgiving Classic football game at Sabourin Field. Early snowflakes gave way to a generally cold, damp morning, and Bedford’s early touchdowns gave way to a decisive Concord win, 46 – 28. Play-by-play announcer Mike Rosenberg noted that 2016 would be his “30th or 31st” year in the press box.
The Rotary Club of Bedford entertained both teams at lunch on Tuesday, where they heard keynote speaker US Army Col. Michael D. Sullivan, a former football lineman, speak about leadership. Setting a climate of cooperation, Sullivan noted, involves putting others above oneself and leaving prickly egos at the door. Eventually, the climate of cooperation will become a culture of cooperation. “You’ll be enemies on the field,” Col. Sullivan said, but post-game leadership opportunities abound both on the field but off it as well. “When the whistle blows to end the game, you will all be back on the same team. We all live in the same community, we all have the same goals,” he concluded.
Town Employees/Alumni vs BHS Varsity Hockey Game
On Friday morning, a combined team of first responders, town employees, and BHS alumni played the current BHS varsity hockey team at The Edge. The contest was a fundraiser for the team, and to collect non-perishable goods for the Bedford Pantry and Community Table.
The town team was organized by Firefighter Nick Anderson, Amy Parrella pulled the BUCs team together, and the Stinky Socks Hockey League provided an official referee. The town team sported jerseys that were designed by Firefighter Chris Springer, currently deployed in Afghanistan. The Town team’s goal defense led to a final score of 12 to 9.