The 48-year-old Thanksgiving football rivalry between Bedford and Concord-Carlisle High Schools is no more.
“We thought it was the best thing for the future of our program to make the change,” said BHS Director of Athletics Keith Mangan. “This is something that we have been considering for the past few years, based on the outcome of the games and where our two programs are.”
Discussion and analysis involving the coaching staff, the superintendent’s office, and BHS administrators led to the decision, which was unilateral, Mangan said, and accepted by CCHS. “It certainly wasn’t an easy decision,” he emphasized. “There was a lot of thought and planning.”
Mangan said he is pursuing prospects for a Thanksgiving 2021 opponent “that’s more in line with our program.” That arrangement could be for a single year or develop into a long-term rivalry. “We want to evaluate to make sure it’s a good fit for both teams.”
Bedford High’s annual holiday matchup with Concord-Carlisle began in 1973. Bedford had been playing Burlington on Thanksgiving. The CCHS Patriots’ traditional rival was Lexington High, and that change was not well received for many years by fans and some players in those two towns.
Overall, the Patriots won 33, Bedford 13 on the holiday. Since that opener in 1973, which Bedford won, 28-20, the rivalry has been a story of two eras.