Home High School Eastside Beats Kennedy In Thanksgiving Rivalry At Hinchliffe Stadium 24-7

Eastside Beats Kennedy In Thanksgiving Rivalry At Hinchliffe Stadium 24-7

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Photo Credit: Marvin Chambers

Paterson, NJ—Hinchcliffe Stadium once the home to Negro Leagues Baseball in the 30s, was brought back to life earlier this year after more than two decades of non existence.

The stadium has a nostalgic feel to it and fans of the Knights, the Ghosts, and football generally said it’s like a big family reunion and gathering.

Eastside High School and John F. Kennedy High School squared off on Thanksgiving Day in the 99th Annual Thanksgiving Day Rivalry game at Hinchliffe Stadium for the first time in nearly 30 years.

The football games between Eastside and Kennedy has been a cornerstone of Paterson’s vibrant community for close to a century, fostering pride and camaraderie among residents, alumni, and supporters of both schools.

The inaugural Thanksgiving Day Classic in the completed stadium witnessed Central High School (now John F. Kennedy High School) beating Eastside by a score of 24 – 0. This annual game is one of the oldest rivalry contests in New Jersey.

“This is a historic moment for Paterson,” Mayor Andre Sayegh said before the kickoff. “It’s about celebrating tradition, showcasing our heritage, and fostering connections. This game isn’t just about touchdowns; it’s about bringing neighborhoods together, creating lasting memories, and honoring the spirit of our city’s history.”

In 2017, the Kennedy Knights held a slim edge in the series at 43-42. But, in 2018, Eastside emerged victorious. After securing their fourth consecutive win in 2022,  the Eastside Ghosts now leads the series with a 47-44-7 advantage.

Photo Credit: Marvin Chambers

The Eastside Ghosts enter the game seeking to uphold their winning tradition and extend their streak against the Kennedy Knights. Their offense, led by a dynamic running game and a west coast passing attack, has the potential to create very explosive plays in a blink of eye. A win against Kennedy would undoubtedly solidify their position in the city and raise their expectations for the upcoming season.

Eastside defeated Kennedy by a score of 24-7, but many say the City of Paterson won the victory but this more than game for the student-athletes, administrators, city officials, and fans.

For the alumni of both schools, the Thanksgiving Day battle remains a cherished opportunity to reconnect with old friends, relive past glories, and demonstrate unwavering support for their alma maters.

“There is a legacy and tradition behind this game, and it gives you chills, especially after 27 years of not having Thanksgiving in the stadium,” Assemblyman and Director of Recreation Benjie Wimberly said. “You may not have grown up in Paterson, I don’t care what ethnicity you are whatever sport you may enjoy, this is something that people should experience in their life.”

At the final whistle, there are no losers in this contest. Everyone earned a victory as all the fans celebrated the return of a Thanksgiving Classic and rekindled old friendships on this brisk day.