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West Roxbury excited about its first Thanksgiving game

Posted by Ryan Butler  November 20, 2013 05:30 PM

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The following is second in a series of Thanksgiving football previews.

The West Roxbury football team is set for a Thanksgiving matchup for the first time.

“We wanted a Thanksgiving game, so when Randolph offered to play, we picked it up,” West Roxbury coach Derek Wright said. “We’ve got some valuable practice time to prepare, too. This week has been pretty light, just going into some light conditioning drills and such. Next week we’ll dive into more of the structured stuff.”

West Roxbury finished in third place in the City League North Division, logging a 3-2 league record. On Nov. 1, the Raiders gave City League South champion O’Bryant a tough time, outscoring O’Bryant, 18-14, in the final three quarters, but ultimately fell, 33-18.

On Thanksgiving, they’ll square off against a Randolph team that’s looking for its first win of the year.

“We’re just practicing hard, and going over the things we’ve been doing all year long,” Randolph coach Keith Ford said. “Our athletic directors got together and put the game in place. Our AD is a West Roxbury alum, so that definitely helped in setting up the game for us.”

The opportunity to play on Thanksgiving means a lot to the West Roxbury players, whose season otherwise would be finished.

“It’s really exciting,” said senior quarterback David Bertucci. “To be able to play on Thanksgiving in my senior year after going three straight years without it, it’s just great.

"As a team, we’re all just really pumped. We’re definitely going to stick to the run game against Randolph. The last couple games, we really tried to air it out, but I think we’re going to go back to pounding the ball on the ground.”

With senior Mike Obiangwe in the backfield, running the ball is definitely the Raiders' best bet. Obiangwe logged eight touchdowns on the year, including two against O’Bryant.

“I feel thankful to be able to play the game,” Obiangwe said. “I mean, after this, there’s no more football. So we’re going to work really hard.”

Ryan M. Butler covers Boston Public School athletics. He can be reached at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @butler_globe or @BPSspts.

About Boston Public Schools Sports Blog

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
  • Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.