Saint John’s football finds new Thanksgiving foe in Malden Catholic

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Saint John’s players bow their heads during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner before a game last year. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

SHREWSBURY – Saint John’s High School in Shrewsbury will inaugurate a new Thanksgiving football tradition later this year with a game against the Malden Catholic Lancers on Nov. 23.

The game will be held at Donovan Field at Brother Gilbert Stadium in Malden due to a coin toss on June 2, which Malden Catholic won. Future game locations will switch off each year between Donovan Field and Pioneer Field in Shrewsbury. 

“As a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School, much of what we do is steeped in longstanding tradition,” Saint John’s Headmaster Alex Zequeira said in a press release announcing this move. “To begin a new tradition in partnership with a school within our XBSS network is exciting.” 

Zequeira added that the two schools “share a commitment to Catholic education and a focus on the whole person” that elevates this new Thanksgiving game to represent a “longstanding tradition of excellence.”

Saint John’s football players gather during a game last fall. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

St. John’s had long participated in Thanksgiving football traditions with annual games against St. Peter Marian High School. 

That ended, though, when Saint Peter Marian merged with Holy Name High School in 2020 to create the new Saint Paul High School. 

Saint John’s had been seeking a new opponent in its rivalry, playing Everett last fall.

That game came as the fruit of a special  one-year agreement as reported by the Worcester Telegram, though, leaving the Pioneers now open to what school officials are anticipating will be a longer tradition with Malden Catholic.

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