Remembering The Past: Thanksgiving Football

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by Diane Norek Harrison

WOODBRIDGE-PERTH AMBOY-In previous Thanksgiving columns, I wrote about the annual Woodbridge-St. Mary’s Perth Amboy football games from 1932 and 1933. I was not able to pinpoint the exact year of this game, but it was in with a bunch of 1930s material given to me.

“The teams will clash at the Woodbridge Speedway gridiron on Thanksgiving Day afternoon and NOT at the City Stadium in Perth Amboy.

“The decision to play at Woodbridge was reached after a miniature war flared up over the question of whether or not it would be profitable to play two games in this city (Perth Amboy) on the one day.

“The Saints were to play at the stadium tomorrow in another tilt before the Woodbridge fray but that battle has been called off and the Blue warriors will confine themselves to thinking only of the battle with the Barrons.

“From today, until Wednesday the locals will drill for the contest which is expected to be the hardest on the Blue schedule. Barring accidents between now and game time, Coach Harold Runyon will send his backfield consisting of ‘Lefty’ Rusznak, Bill Clark, Jim Keating and perhaps, Johnny Rak on the field. Al Grega, upon whom much hope has been placed, will see the game from the sidelines, having injured his ankle last Saturday when his team conquered St. Peter’s of New Brunswick.

“Dooley and Van Syckle will probably hold down the end berths, they having played these parts with credit during the entire season. There is a question concerning the guards but the most likely starters will be Winnike and Beatty with Ivan and Saffron playing the tackle positions. Francis Hurley will be at the center unless Runyon decides later to shift him into the backfield. In that event, John Hurley or Joe Salmyster will go to the pivot berth.

“Woodbridge should go into the tussle a long favorite having lost only one game during the season. In addition it will have the advantage of playing on its home field. Both the Saints and Woodbridge have played scoreless ties with Perth Amboy, a common rival.”

If you have your own memories or information for Carteret, Edison, Metuchen, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy or Woodbridge, you can email me at dianenorekharrison@juno.com or send copies of your material to me c/o CMD Media, 1139 East Jersey St., Suite 503, Elizabeth NJ, 07201.


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