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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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The Corn Bowl: Revival of a Nonnewaug Tradition

Nonnewaug’s faculty team poses for a picture before the Corn Bowl in the fall of 2002. Featured on this team were current teachers Dave Green, Arleigh Duff, Steve Bunovsky, Kathy Brenner, Chris York, and Toby Denman. (contributed)

WOODBURY — Nonnewaug’s new annual powderpuff game, which will see the classes of 2024 and 2025 face off in a flag football match, will make its return today for the second year in a row. 

The school community has been buzzing with excitement and score predictions for the last few weeks, but not only regarding the powderpuff game.

Preceding the upperclassmen girls’ face-off, faculty members and some of NHS’s top boys’ athletes will go head to head in the revival of an old tradition: the Nonnewaug Corn Bowl, a football game which was last played in the fall of 2004. In the past, it was a game of two-hand-touch football; this year, it’ll be a flag football game.

“The Corn Bowl started in the 1970s,” said health and wellness teacher Dave Green, who was a key player in Corn Bowls past. “Because we didn’t have football, the senior boys and the faculty would play a game of football right before Thanksgiving. It’s a fun event.” 

Despite there being years when the Corn Bowl was “really fun,” Green mentions that it is “a pretty active situation.”

“I can see both sides of the coin,” he said of the event’s return. “It is a little bit of a risk to bring it back. Keep it in perspective and make sure it’s a positive experience for everybody.” 

In the experience of biology teacher Toby Denman, whose first Corn Bowl was in the fall of 2002, the game was a fun concept which had — and often fulfilled — the potential to get out of hand.

“’Two-hand-touch’ could be air-quoted because it was difficult for some people to distinguish when two hands had been touched on someone,” Denman said of the game. “Were there instances that it became slightly more physical than two-hand touch? Yes, there were some of those situations.”

The Corn Bowl faculty team before the annual game, pictured in 2003. (contributed)

One of these occasions in particular brought the demise of the Corn Bowl, in the fall of 2004.

“Mr. [Angelo] Casagrande, Nonnewaug legend, tore nearly every ligament in his knee one year, so there was an ambulance trip that Corn Bowl,” recalled Denman. “There may or may not have been some unfortunate decisions made on both sides of things, by people no longer connected with Region 14 schools.”

Because of this, Denman is not too keen on the prospect of bringing back the Corn Bowl. 

“I am on record as saying that it’s a bad idea,” he decided. “The leading cause of injury in old men is thinking that they are still young men.”

Nevertheless, the Corn Bowl is making a comeback, opening today for the second annual powderpuff game. So far, staff and students alike have generally viewed the reinstatement of the traditional game with excitement.

Despite the potential risk it may pose to the faculty team, English and journalism teacher Conor Gereg believes that the game is a good idea. The reason: simply, to keep with the spirit of the season. 

“The Corn Bowl seemed like an ideal opportunity to bring the staff together in a week that’s about spending time with people that are important to you,” Gereg, the initial advocate of the game’s return, said. “To be able to do that with faculty, and do it in an athletic setting, seemed like a lot of fun.” 

Despite the positivity surrounding the event thus far, Gereg doesn’t have very high hopes for his team’s success.

“Considering that many of us haven’t stretched, exercised, or eaten a vegetable this semester, I don’t anticipate that it will go very well for the faculty team,” he stated. “We haven’t had a single practice, and only two of us have ever played football before.”

Although Gereg may not trust the ability of the faculty team to play a functional football game, Green believes that teamwork will probably be the team’s biggest asset.

“In the past, [our biggest advantage] was always teamwork,” he said. “We tended to be a little bit more organized than the students.”

The Corn Bowl’s outcome will soon be decided, as the teachers and senior boys take to the turf for a 3 p.m. start. 

“I support it,” Green concluded. “It will be a testament to making sure that people can actually enjoy themselves and be able to do the activity physically, but then also handle winning and losing – handle different situations well.”

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About the Contributor
Gianna Lodice '24, Junior Editor
Gianna Lodice is a senior at Nonnewaug and a first-year reporter for the NHS Chief Advocate, now serving as a junior editor. A three-season athlete, Gianna is captain of the soccer, indoor track, and outdoor track teams, a testament to her passion for sports. She is also serving as the president of Nonnewaug’s National Honor Society for this year, and she is a member of the agriscience program. After high school, Gianna aspires to run track at her dream college (wherever that is) and potentially major in history on her route to law school. She is excited to write about things that interest her and have new experiences.
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