As Canton High School football players watched their team’s roster get smaller and smaller in recent years, they wondered if the program would last until their graduation. But 15 miles away, the Warriors rival was asking the same question. Granby football was also facing an ever-shrinking roster.
So the two combined. Setting aside a Thanksgiving rivalry to keep kids on the field.
“We played thanksgiving eve every year,” said Granby head coach Erik Shortell. “Now we play together every day.”
For at least this season – both programs just on the cusp of the CIAC co-op qualifications, allowing them to forego the usual two-year co-op requirement – the annual “Mike Jug” trophy will stay on the shelf inside Granby Memorial. A worthwhile trade off for a chance to contend in Class M.
“A program where you have an actual JV team,” said Shortell.”And we're going to have a depth chart. So kids are going to have to work. We're going to have competition every day and the best 11 play."
That’s a rivalry these players can get behind.
“Not only do we have the best who were on Canton last year, the best who were on Granby last year...we're all here to play football and we're all here to win,” said senior Carter Gavin from Canton.
”Even if we're rivals with Canton, we never want to see a program foiled because of a lack of numbers,” said Granby senior and team co-captain Sam Attinese. “They have some kids who really want to play football and that's what it comes down to, you want to play football.”