Both coaches have ties to the Turkey Day game
Catasauqua head coach Travis Brett and Northampton field boss John Toman definitely have some different memories about the Thanksgiving Day tilt.
Brett will be in charge of his second Turkey Day and Toman will encounter his first when Northampton travels to Catasauqua Thursday morning. The Rough Riders will enter with a 7-4 record, while the Konkrete Kids will bring their 11-1 ledger to the meeting.
For Brett, his fondest memory goes back to his senior year at Catasauqua in 1992 when he caught the winning and only touchdown pass as a wide receiver in the Roughies’ 7-0 victory on a rainy day playing on a soggy Alumni Field.
Brett was in the lineup for injured Jason Mutarelli, and he caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ed Erie with 5:57 left in the game. It was the second straight week Brett played a heroic role, as he caught the winning touchdown pass a week earlier in the Roughies’ 14-10 win over Palmerton for the District 2A crown.
“I was just happy to catch it,” recalled Brett. “It was a very tight game with them. Ed (Erie) made a perfect throw. It was a good two weeks for me because I had the winning catch against Palmerton.
“We had a really good run, and I was just happy for the time I got on the field. The game has always been special to me and my family.”
Brett watched his oldest son, Andrew, score a touchdown in his senior year, but younger son, Austin, was injured and also had the game canceled due to COVID-19 last year. As a kind gesture, the head coach has welcomed back last year’s captains back for the coin toss.
The eldest Brett also had the team involved in Thanksgiving Day can drive in North Catasauqua in which players collected cans to fill a police car for charity.
Toman is a Dieruff High and Bucknell University graduate, and his ties with the game date back to the 2004 and 2005 seasons when he was an assistant coach under the late Teko Johnson. The Kids were playoff teams in both seasons. They defeated Catasauqua both seasons, 22-6 in 2004, and 21-13 in 2005.
“I remember coaching in the game as an assistant and winning both games,” said Toman. “I remember a lot of excitement around the game, and the two communities getting behind their teams.
“I am looking forward to a great atmosphere on Thursday.”