This is the 25th season of football at Monmouth University and it has truly been something worth celebrating.

The Hawks closed out their home schedule with their 7th straight victory, 41-14 over Gardner-Webb on Saturday as they improved to 9-1 on the season. Monmouth will play at Kennesaw State this coming Saturday for the Big South championship and a spot in the FCS Playoffs which is amazing considering most experts though they would be a .500 team during the pre-season.

Monmouth University's Kessler Field
Monmouth University's Kessler Field (Monmouth University)

The Hawks have been led all season long by senior All-America candidate Mike Basile, a Brick Memorial graduate and have received big contributions from former Donovan Catholic standout Vinny Grasso and other Shore Conference alums including Tymere Berry (TR South) and Matt Castronouva (Jackson Memorial).

If Monmouth beats Kennesaw State in Georgia this coming Saturday they would not only qualify for the playoffs for the first time but likely get a home game over Thanksgiving weekend.  The Hawks are 5-0 in the new Kessler Stadium and have averaged 43 points per game which has kept their public address announcer busy. I should know since that’s how I spend some of my fall Saturdays.

I’m especially happy for Kevin Callahan, the only coach in school history and a stand-up guy.  This silver anniversary season has been a special one and here’s hoping it continues for a few more weeks.

Here is why Thanksgiving Day football games no longer make sense.  All three Toms River high school teams played and lost NJSIAA consolation games last Thursday.  That ended the season for both East and North but not South who plays at Lakewood on Thanksgiving, exactly two weeks later.

I’m sure a fair number of their athletes play a winter sport and would have appreciated a little break to rest their bodies before the next season.  However, that won’t happen so in the name of tradition they practice and get ready for another game that in all honesty means little to most.

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