Poconos Coal

Is the East Stroudsburg, Stroudsburg Turkey Day football game officially over?

Crowds pack the East Stroudsburg School board meeting to defend the tradition dating back to 1945

Is the East Stroudsburg, Stroudsburg Turkey Day football game officially over?

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. - It's a community effort to put a traditional high school football game back on the schedule in Monroe County.

Some East Stroudsburg residents packed Monday night's school board meeting, in hopes of saving the annual Turkey Day game.

Since 1945, the Stroudsburg Mountaineers and East Stroudsburg South Cavaliers have competed for the Little Brown Jug Trophy on Thanksgiving Day.

"It's like no other game you could ever go to," said Steven Kulick, an East Stroudsburg resident.

But after nearly 70 years, that tradition is changing.

"We want that turkey game to stay because it's very, very important," said Dick Merring, a former football coach at both schools.

Both districts have agreed to award the trophy to the winning team in the regular-season game.

"September is not Turkey Day," Kulick said.

"The little brown jug is not going away...The date that memory occurs needs to change for the students," said East Stroudsburg Superintendent Sharon Laverdure.

East Stroudsburg athletic director Ben Brenneman said the decision was mutual between both districts.

"The Thanksgiving Day, the attendance, fact of PIAA playoff changes from years past to now, and overlap of winter sports. It was kind of a group consensus," Brenneman said.

Merring said it's a loss for not only players and students, but the community too.

"I don't remember my prom, but I remember that game," Merring said

A Facebook group called "Traditional Turkey Day Stroudsburg/East Stroudsburg Fan Support Site" has more than 1,000 members.

But Brenneman said that view doesn't represent the student body.

"We have more players uninterested in the game, or could take it or leave it, compared to the small percentage that actually wanted to continue playing the game," Brenneman said.

Both teams will face off for their regular season game September 12.

This Week's Circulars

Poconos and Coal Region News

Latest From The Newsroom