Ovist, others keep Turkey Bowl alive

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BELOIT - Jamie Ovist and his friends saved Beloit's Turkey Bowl a year ago.

They will be back at it again on Thanksgiving Day when they participate in the 72nd edition of the annual local gridiron classic.

This year, the gridders will represent Town Club and Turtle Tap. There will be a pre-game get together at Town Club from 7-9 a.m. The teams will then convene at the Stateline Boys & Girls Club Football Field. Teams will be selected in a quick "draft" and kickoff will be at approximately 9:30. The game is two-hand touch.

Postgame festivities will be at Turtle Tap.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Turkey Bowl, it has its origins in 1941 when the owner of Club Pop House, George Stankewitz, founded it as a game between club members from the east and west side of Beloit.

The Turkey Bowl took a hiatus while Stankewitz served in World War II, but when he returned so did the game. It became a battle between Stankewitz's popular teen and Beloit College hangout, the Pop House, and Pinky's Pub. Over the years, the teams changed, to the Alumni House, Farmer In The Dell, Dal House, Top-O' Town, Tobasco's, the Mouse and Hog Cabin. Town Club and Turtle Tap are the latest entries.

When George Stankewitz passed away in 1991, the game's "commissioner" title went to his brother Vince. When he died in 2010, Vince's widow Delores became honorary commissioner.

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