A Pascack Hills Football Tradition That No Longer Exists


America has always had the tradition of an exciting football game between rivals on Thanksgiving. No Thanksgiving is complete without taking time to sit down and enjoy such a game!

The Dallas Cowboys—dubbed “America’s Team”—always plays on Thanksgiving Day; however, the other Cowboys, from Pascack Hills, used to play an important and immensely popular game on Thanksgiving, too.

It was the annual tradition to hold a Pascack Hills vs. Pascack Valley football game on Thanksgiving. It was a game that “everybody looked forward to,” says Mr. Buccino, who was teaching here at Hills when this game was still a tradition. “Even alumni would come to watch the games!”

During his first year teaching at Pascack Hills, Mr. Buccino decided to venture out to this highly anticipated Thanksgiving game. He says he had “never seen so many people at a football game before.”

Mr. Buccino recalled that both the home and away stands were filled to capacity. People lined the fence around the field, and stood in droves on the hill. An alumna remembered that “everyone had a cowbell and would ring them whenever the Cowboys had a good play!”

The rivalry between the two schools in the PVRHS district was much stronger in those days. There are very few games between Hills and Valley anymore, and none at all for football.

When PHHS and PVHS played in the same league, games between the two schools took place much more often. In addition, the distribution of students from Hillsdale and River Vale were split between Hills and Valley, which only increased the competitiveness between the two schools.

The Thanksgiving Day game, which hasn’t been played in over a decade, brought out school pride at both Valley and Hills. And until that game is played again, it is hard to imagine that same kind of pride and spirit will exist again in either school.