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Bosco Week Takes Over at Bergen Catholic High-School

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RAMSEY—Bergen Catholic and Don Bosco competed in their long-awaited game with each other this season after weeks of preparation and tension due to a rivalry that dates back decades.

On Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, students, faculty, parents, and fans crowded the stands to watch as the Bergen Catholic Crusaders and The Don Bosco Ironmen played head-to-head in a televised football game at Don Bosco’s home field. The rivalry between the two schools is one that dates back to 1958 and is referred to as “the best rivalry in high school sports throughout New Jersey,” according Brian Fitzsimmons, a reporter at News 12 Varsity.

The two powerhouses, located only 9.7 miles away from each other, are “not only rivals in football but in every sport,” said Gavin Greene, a freshman at Bergen Catholic. “None of them are as hype as the football games,” he continued, which is evident by the blasting music, screaming fans and shirtless boys parading around the field.

Even former coach for the Don Bosco Ironmen, Gregory Toal, who now coaches at Bergen, looks forward to the rivalry games every season. “I think you know the answer,” Toal laughed when a reporter asked which game he circles on his calendar before every season. “It’s been around for a long time, the Bergen Catholic and Bosco rivalry. It’s been tremendous, going back into the 60’s, actually the 50’s, so it’s been a great tradition and a great game in general. Win or lose, it’s always been a great game.”

According to a senior at Columbia High School who attended the game with a friend, it was a game to remember. “I love the atmosphere, I should’ve went here. The game was great. I especially loved the ending results,” he stated cheerily, obviously elated that the Crusaders were victorious over Don Bosco this year.

“They’re very similar schools,” Toal said in another interview. “The academics are excellent at both schools and we’re constantly looking to get the same types of kids. It’s a turf war, there’s no question.”

The rivalry, like most rivalries, not only plays a big part within the school community but in the surrounding community as well. This is evident by the number of families, students, and fans that attend these games to watch as the football teams clash on the turf.

Early in the rivalry, the Crusaders were triumphant time and time again. As the new millennium came, the Ironmen began to catch up, earning many victories and ultimately creating a tug of war  and changing the landscape of amateur football for years to come.

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Bosco Week Takes Over at Bergen Catholic High-School