The Cranston West football team had a historic 2019 campaign which resulted in a Division I Super Bowl appearance last weekend.
The Falcons are ready to play one last game though, as they prepare to take on cross-town rival Cranston East in the annual Thanksgiving matchup.
The Bolts lead the series 24-22, but are coming off a season in which they finished winless.
Although the Falcons are the heavy favorite heading into the contest, they expect to face East’s best shot and to have another battle.
“I’m expecting East to give us a game. I know that they haven’t had the best season, but it is still one of the best rivalries in the state. Whether you go to East or West, it’s going to be a Super Bowl atmosphere. It’s going to be a good a game regardless of what has happened in the past,” said West senior Noah Robert.
“East has been a team that plays teams tough. They do a few things very well and it’s going to be a battle on Thursday morning. We need to show up ready to play,” added West head coach Tom Milewski.
With the series record being so close, Robert believes that it is the intensity of the rivalry that makes each contest so competitive.
“It’s the rivalry that each team has had against each other in the past. It’s the drive that the other team gives you that you don’t get from other teams. We have our thoughts being the favorite and having the better season, but with a game like this, that means nothing. This game ignites you,” said Robert.
As a former West player and current coach, Milewski is looking forward to hitting the sidelines for another season and to add to the game’s history.
“It’s a great game for the city, it’s great to see the alumni come out and to see the community come together, it should be a good crowd. For the kids, it’s a big stage, so it’s exciting for them. Hopefully the seniors take a moment to look around and enjoy it. I played in this game as a player and now getting to coach in it, it’s special to me,” said Milewski.
Although the Falcons are looking forward to hitting the field and trying to get one step closer to evening the score, they also carry a bittersweet feeling into the game knowing it is the last ride for the senior core that has helped put West football back on the map.
“For me personally, it’s going to be sad to see them wrap up on Thursday. This senior group has been very special, I’ve been lucky with this group,” said Milewski. “These guys worked hard and have done everything that I could have asked them to do. I’m happy for them.”
“It’s been a grind. Not too many kids can say that they’ve played football for four years. It’s a good feeling knowing that I made it all four years and had success during that time,” added Robert. “It feels good to be one of the focal points of this team because it shows that hard work pays off.”