Norwich Free Academy vs. New London High School is believed to be the nation’s oldest football rivalry and the time has been changed for the annual Thanksgiving game this year. Norwich Police said there were recommendations to change the date of the game “due to recent conflict between citizens from both cities.”
The game will be played at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving, instead of the originally scheduled time of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Norwich Free Academy, the home team for the annual matchup.
This year’s game is the 158th meeting between the two teams, and it is believed to be the longest running rivalry in the country.
Norwich police said Norwich Police, New London Department and Norwich Free Academy met last week in “regards to citizen and student safety during the proposed Thanksgiving Day football game” and “New London and Norwich Police recommended to Norwich Free Academy officials to change the date of the game due to recent conflict between citizens from both cities.”
In a statement, Norwich Police said they feel “that it is in the best interest of all involved parties to move the date and time of the game; however the ultimate decision was made, under advisement, by Norwich Free Academy.”
The news release goes on to say that there “have been no specific threats made about Norwich Free Academy, the Thanksgiving Day game, athletes, faculty, or students” and enhanced security measures will be in place to ensure safety is the utmost priority.
Norwich police said there will be enhanced security measures in place.