Giv­ing thanks for Eas­ton vs. Phillips­burg

Turkey Day tra­di­tion is on for the 114th time — but at State­lin­ers’ Maloney Sta­dium

The Morning Call - - Sports - By Keith Groller

In a joint state­ment re­leased on Fri­day, the Phillips­burg School District and Eas­ton Area School District an­nounced that the 114th an­nual Thanks­giv­ing Day Game be­tween the State­lin­ers and Red Rovers foot­ball teams will be played as sched­uled on Thurs­day, Nov. 26.

How­ever, the game will be played at Maloney Sta­dium at Phillips­burg High School.

Lafayette Col­lege’s Fisher Sta­dium, which has been the site of the game for more than 100 years, will con­tinue the tra­di­tion in the fu­ture as the game’s host.

How­ever, COVID-19 re­stric­tions on the Lafayette cam­pus made it un­avail­able for this year’s game.

Lafayette is re­strict­ing vis­i­tor ac­cess as part of its strat­egy to limit the spread of the coro­n­avirus with no classes be­ing held in per­son, its ath­letic teams not com­pet­ing, an­dartis­tic per­for­mances and guest lec­tures be­ing de­liv­ered vir­tu­ally.

The re­lease said Eas­ton and Phillips­burg fully sup­port Lafayette’s de­ci­sion and con­tinue to be ex­tremely grate­ful and ap­pre­cia­tive for the col­lege’s as­sis­tance and will­ing­ness to al­low this an­nual foot­ball game to be played at its fa­cil­ity.

The joint state­ment added “al­though many more de­tails will be forth­com­ing, we can in­form both com­mu­ni­ties that, cur­rently, out­door gath­er­ings are lim­ited to 500 per­sons in New Jersey, not in­clud­ing those on the play­ing field. We do not see that num­ber in­creas­ing prior to the game, and it is highly likely that only es­sen­tial game op­er­a­tions per­son­nel, coach­ing staff, and fam­i­lies of the play­ers, cheer­lead­ers, and band will be ad­mit­ted to the game.

“Un­for­tu­nately, we do not an­tic­i­pate any tick­ets for the gen­eral pub­lic. How­ever, the game will be tele­vised and streamed live on­line to the com­mu­nity. “

The schools said it un­der­stood “this is difficult news for the many pas­sion­ate State­lin­ers and Red Rovers fans that have been at­tend­ing this game for decades. This is not an easy de­ci­sion or one taken lightly by ei­ther district.”

Given the re­stric­tions in place in both Penn­syl­va­nia and New Jersey, the re­lease said, the health and safety of the play­ers, coaches, staff, fans and both com­mu­ni­ties re­mains at the fore­front of their think­ing.

“The foot­ball play­ers, cheer­lead­ers, dance team, band and coach­ing staff for both teams are ex­cited to be able to con­tinue this his­toric ri­valry at Phillips­burg High School,” it con­cluded.

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