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Annual football game brings family together on Thanksgiving

Isaiah Edwards, right, celebrates with Rasheed Welsh after Isaiah’s touchdown during an annual Thanksgiving family football game on Thursday at Spring Creek Park.
Isaiah Edwards, right, celebrates with Rasheed Welsh after Isaiah’s touchdown during an annual Thanksgiving family football game on Thursday at Spring Creek Park. psheehan@centredaily.com

Despite the trash talk coming from the field Thursday at Spring Creek Park, family means a lot to the players who competed in the 4th annual Turkey Bowl.

“Whatever talking goes on, we’re family at the end of the day,” said Hassan Abdul-Quddus.

The flag football game is a Thanksgiving tradition, which was started by Neal Thomas, of Zion.

It’s fun, and it’s a way to get family together, he said.

“Family’s very important to us,” said Valerie Albro, Thomas’ sister.

No matter what the family might go through during the rest of the year, they look forward to being together for the day, said Albro, of State College.

“Thanksgiving unites us,” she said.

And while the game is going on, dinner is cooking — pies are baking, greens are simmering and the turkey’s in the oven, Albro said. “It’s like a feast.”

Her sons, Robert and Jamal, played for State High’s football team. Robert graduated in 2005 and Jamal in 2011.

Isaiah Edwards, a freshman running back at State High, is always MVP, Albro said.

Though Robert Albro III claimed he was this year’s MVP, after his team — equipped with yellow flags — topped Edwards’ red team, 21-14.

Even though the game is flag football, more than a few tackles occurred.

The game lasted about an hour on a brisk and cloudy day. About 25 people played, and they had a cheering section, which included 5-month-old Riley, a German shepherd.

Next year, Thomas said, they want to try to play another team. And he made it clear that anybody who wants to play is welcome.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

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