On Friday, Nov. 23, about 30 alumni from as far back as 1981 turned out to participate in the 11th Annual Summit Turkey bowl. Current head football Coach John Liberato remarked at the tradition and passion for Hilltopper football that the event brings every year. Liberato joined the "Dozens of people [who] watched this years game including former Hilltoppers Rick Carbone, Mike DeSimone, Leroy Horn, Drew Nichols, and Andy Guida," said co-organizer Pat Natale.
Four teams of eight to nine players took to the field for a game of two-hand touch football. The teams faced off in 20-minute halves. The winning team included former football standout David Morton, class of 1990, and an Army veteran. "The best thing was the camaraderie of all the former Hilltoppers, togetherness at the game," he told Patch. "It was amazing to feel the power."
"The turkey bowl is great because it brings back so many former players," said alum Tim Deutsch. "It's nice that so many younger 'kids' played this year. They are the key to continuing this tradition."
Current Hilltopper football players had just wrapped practice on Friday ahead of this weekend's semi-final match against Parsipanny Hills, before the Turkey Bowl kick-off.
Natale, a player who graduated in 1988 spoke to the high school players sharing his Hilltopper pride. He "implored them to do three things: 1) to bring their A game, 2) Win the day and 3) reach for the peak," he said.
Team that led the pack and won this year's Turkey Bowl included former Summit football captains Flavio Acitelli '89, Tim Deutsch '90, Dave Morton '90, Ian Paxson '94, and Jeff Della Piazza '04.
"Other captains who played," said Natale, "included Kenny Weeks '85, Jamie Allen '95, Kareen Wilbur '00, and Pete Badgley '11.
The event was also used to collect Hurricane Sandy relief donations for the Summit Red Cross Arlene Driscoll, a local representative from the organization helped out.