Upperclassmen gobble up a win against staff at annual Turkey Bowl

Emilie Erickson

 On Friday, Nov. 19, the upperclassmen and staff gathered in the small gym during lunch to compete in the annual Turkey Bowl. Typically, the Turkey Bowl includes a variety of staff versus student activities. This year, however, leadership only hosted a basketball game. Given that this was Redwood’s first Turkey Bowl since 2017, the school was ecstatic to bring back its beloved tradition. As both teams walked onto the court, eager students crammed onto the floor waiting for the game to begin. 

Junior Katelyn McKnew, a student from the audience, was delighted to see the Turkey Bowl return and was supportive towards both teams. 

“I thought it was super interesting to see the students and teachers interact in other ways compared to in a classroom,” McKnew said. 

Anticipating the next move, senior Jimmy Phelan attempts to take possession of the ball.

Despite the staff team only having five players including Mr. Labudzik, Mr. Long, Mr. Bodle, Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Plescia, they certainly brought the heat in a riveting game against the junior and senior boys. 

Both teams brought high energy to the court, creating a very fast-paced game. Shuffling down the court, both staff and students made many attempts to gain possession of the ball, with some even taking a few tumbles. The teachers managed to take the lead in the beginning, fixating on their offensive abilities. However, the upperclassmen team managed to steal the ball and used their solid defense to surpass the teachers.

As the game continued on, senior Jimmy Phelan was able to intercept the ball, taking a fast break, and scoring yet another basket for the student team. As the game came to a close, the students made a foul, awarding Physical Education teacher Nate Johnson two free throws and potentially costing the students a win. Down to the final point, Johnson fumbled, missing both free throws that would have won his team the game. While the staff put up a valiant effort, senior Zack Johnson put back a rebound and claimed the victory for the students with a final score of 21-19. The crowd erupted in applause, flooding onto the court as soon as the buzzer went off. 

McKnew was overjoyed to see the gym so alive, infused with spirited energy. She mentions how surprised she was to see how close the game ended, and was not anticipating the teachers to be as skilled as they were.

Springing into the air, Physical Education teacher Nathan Johnson blocks a shot.


“I expected the students to win by a lot more than they did. I thought the teachers definitely brought their A-game and were really on top of it,” McKnew said. “I think the teachers could have won if they pushed through, but I think the stamina could’ve been an issue.”

Associated Student Body President and athletics committee chair Gavin Green helped to organize the event and was shocked by the intensity of the game and pleased by its effects on the student body. 

“I didn’t think [the game] would be that close,” Green said. “The teachers were pretty good and hit a bunch of [three pointers]. It became a lot of fun for the audience.” 

A senior on the student team Jimmy Phelan was thrilled to be a part of such a spirited game with his teachers and friends. 

“I talked to all the players that participated [in the game] and they had a great time.” Phelan said.

Phelan was pleased that so many people showed up to support the game. In his final year at Redwood, he was honored to be a part of the starting five and to be able to participate in the Turkey Bowl. 

“Even if you weren’t playing [the game], it was fun to watch and be a part of and [I know] the teachers loved it,” Phelan said. “[The game] was super light-hearted and I think it went really well.”