It started on Thanksgiving Day in 1969 as just another practice for the St. Anthony's youth boys soccer team.
But the club's coach, Joe Speca, stood in the middle of Radecke Field and enthusiastically proclaimed it, “The first annual Turkey Bowl.”
While the Calvert Hall football team was getting the better of Loyola Blakefield this Thanksgiving, a huge collection of soccer enthusiasts — multiple family generations — were at CCBC-Essex playing their own Turkey Bowl, celebrating the event’s 50th anniversary with the Oldtimers claiming a 4-3 win over the Turkeys.
Speca, now 82, a Highlandtown native who played professionally and with the U.S. men's national team, and Roberto Ascenzi were honorary members for the Oldtimers team. Lou and John Dino Mangione, and Frank Kujawa have played in all 50 games, and 16-year-old Pete Mangione was the youngest player on the field Thursday.