A brisk rain couldn’t keep PCC students from the 47th Turkey Bowl. Wrapped in coats and scarves, students grouped together for a time of fun and excitement as their friends battled for the soccer championship. “Honestly, [it’s] being able to get away from classes, take a moment to relax, and enjoy the time we have,” Bryan King (Fr., TN) said, bundled against the cold. “[I like] watching from the side with some friends.”
Turkey Bowl Kickoff
The Saturday before Thanksgiving, this year’s men’s and women’s soccer teams competed in championships during one of PCC’s favorite traditional events—Turkey Bowl. The event launched with the women’s game. Fans, many of them friends and family of the players, gathered to cheer on the Zeta Delta Dolphins and Delta Gamma Bears. Both teams had worked hard to get to this point and were eager for the Bears to kick off. Bears player Ellaina Todd (So., MI) said, “I absolutely love soccer, and I am so proud of my team and myself for being able to be a part of something so fun and encouraging.”
“I was exuberant and so happy and proud of our team for how far we came.”
As the rain increased and the night grew late, the Bears vs. Dolphins game approached halftime with the Dolphins carrying 2–1. Dolphins players Jewell Swain (Jr., FL) and Micaela Martinez (Jr., PA) became prominent obstacles for the Bears, keeping their team’s advantage with quick footwork. In the second half, the Dolphins landed a 3–1 lead, firmly capturing the victory for the women’s 2022 soccer championship. “It was unlike anything I ever felt,” Daniela Gamboa Adame (Fr., NY) said, describing her team’s big win. “I was exuberant and so happy and proud of our team for how far we came.”
Halftime Knocker Ball
During halftime between games, fans had a chance to take a break and enjoy the food trucks PCC had invited on campus for both games. Students carried off treats like cheese-layered macaroni and sweet, giant waffle cones. Student Activities events planner Emily Freeman noted, “Both trucks are unique and had warm, cozy options for a cold game.” Students and visiting guests also enjoyed participating in drawing tickets for small prizes and took advantage of team pom-poms and a photo booth to save memories from the exciting night.
As fans settled in to enjoy the halftime event, the Knocker Ball Challenge, representatives from a variety of collegians stepped onto Eagle Field. Each wearing a thunder bubble, competitors played three rounds of challenges: a footrace, King of the Hill, and a final race between the last standing guy and girl, who were rolled across the field by others. The ultimate winner earned “snacks with Dr. Shoemaker” at their next collegian meeting. “I think the Knocker Ball was an awesome idea,” Keturah Tanner (Sr., MI) said. “I know in the past they’ve had a couple cool halftime shows, but this was just really fun to watch, especially for the collegians that haven’t made it to the Turkey Bowl before.”
A Sudden Comeback
The men’s collegians started their championship game with last year’s winners, the Iota Chi Stingrays, quickly climbing into the lead at 1–0 against the Beta Kappa Hornets. The score held for most of the game, but late in the second half, the Hornets made a sudden comeback. Charlie Bohn (So., CT) scored twice, and Daniel Toma (So., CA) scored once, fixing the Hornets at 3–1. The Hornets maintained the lead until the whistle blew, securing their collegian a Turkey Bowl victory for the first time in ten years. “A sense of gratification came over me,” said Jack Borke (Jr., OH), Hornets coach. “The Hornets have been hungry for a Turkey Bowl [win] for years, and to be the team that finally brought it home—nothing beats that feeling.”
“The Hornets have been hungry for a Turkey Bowl [win] for years.”
Whether or not their players were on the winning team, all the friends and family members who attended the event were proud and thrilled to be at the games. Tiann Rutt came to watch her son, Stingray player Damian Rutt (So., PA). “We were very excited,” she said.
Tiann’s husband, Jamie Rutt (Accounting ’91), a former Phi Delta Spartans player who participated in three Turkey Bowls, added, “I’m thrilled. It’s neat to come see my son play. It’s just fun to come back to the school and see the beautiful atmosphere. It’s an exciting time.”
As students wandered off the field and the night’s energy faded, thoughts likely shifted to Thanksgiving plans. Turkey Bowl was the last big event students experienced together before the Thanksgiving holiday. “It’s just an awesome time to kick off the break. Even if you don’t like soccer, this was a really good opportunity to come out and to just get together,” Keturah said.