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Giving Thanks for Holiday Football [PODCAST]

Does it get any better than football on Thanksgiving?

Not here in South Jersey, where fans were treated to a smorgasbord of thrilling high school games on “Turkey Day”. Those that couldn’t wait for Thanksgiving morning got the chance to witness what may have been the upset of the season, as the Hammonton Blue Devils stunned an undefeated St. Joe’s team 14-6 on Wednesday night.

It wasn’t the only game with an unexpected outcome: the Atlantic City Vikings earned their first victory in eight years over Holy Spirit, with a 13-7 win in Absecon. Some other big winners were Absegami, Ocean City, Millville, Mainland and Middle Township.

But holiday bragging rights weren’t the only thing on the line in Egg Harbor City. The St. Augustine Hermits and Cedar Creek Pirates put it all on the field for the Cape-Atlantic League National Conference title, in a contest that couldn’t be contained in regulation.

South Jersey Hall of Fame sports reporter Tom Williams joined the South Jersey Sports Report to break down St. Augustine’s thrilling 41-40 overtime win, and highlights what other rivalry games took center stage on Thanksgiving.

While local residents continue to support storm relief initiatives like “Restore the Shore” and “Re-DO AC”, one event is generating a buzz like no other. It’s called “Operation Hat Trick”, and it’s turning Atlantic City into a hockey hotbed. Some of the names descending on the shore resort over the weekend: Steven Stamkos, Corey Perry, P.K. Subban, Martin Brodeur, Scott Hartnell, Henrik Lundqvist and more than 30 of the best hockey players in the world.

Mike Gill, 97.3 ESPN-FM personality and host of “The SportsBash”, previews what could be the biggest, and only, professional hockey event this season. He explains what went into bringing “Operation Hat Trick” to South Jersey, what role Atlantic City will play in the sold-out event, and how it’s all benefitting the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

From hockey to another winter sport, one local basketball team is getting ready for another exciting season. The Cedar Creek Lady Pirates hung their 2012 State Championship banner in their new gymnasium earlier this year, and now have their sights set on another magical run.

Kristine Miller is part of a squad that returns all five starters this year. Her accomplishments, including surpassing 1,000 points and leading the C.A.L. in scoring, were only overshadowed by the team’s performance in the postseason. We asked her what preparations are being done in Egg Harbor City to defend their title in 2013, and why the “school spirit” for Cedar Creek athletics may be unrivaled in South Jersey.

And it’ll likely be a season to remember for Rutgers athletics, regardless of how their nationally-ranked football team finishes down the stretch. While a BCS Bowl berth could be in their near future, there’s even more promise for success down the road. The Scarlet Knights, along with the Maryland Terrapins, are slated to become the newest members of the Big Ten Conference.

Rutgers University Athletic Director Tim Pernetti joined us on the South Jersey Sports Report to explain the big announcement. Find out what went into making the move, and why it secures a promising future for athletes at New Jersey’s premier athletic school.

 

Listen to this week’s show:

Tim Pernetti, Rutgers University Athletic Director

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Mike Gill, 97.3 ESPN-FM personality & host of “The SportsBash”

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Kristine Miller, Cedar Creek Pirates girls basketball

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Tom Williams, South Jersey Hall of Fame sports reporter

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It’s all right here, on The South Jersey Sports Report. Listen every Saturday, 9-11 a.m. on 97.3 ESPN-FM or 973espn.com

Follow Tyler Donohue on Twitter @SouthJerzSports.

 

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