For Calvert Hall senior Owen Reese, Thankgiving is about family, friends and football

Posted at 12:39 PM, Nov 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-20 12:42:02-05

For Calvert Hall senior Owen Reese, Thanksgiving Day has always been special. 

"The tradition of Turkey Bowl against Loyola every year just brings a sense of competitiveness every year. You always want to beat Loyola in the Turkey Bowl, but the Turkey Bowl itself is just great," Reese said.

This year's Thanksgiving will be particularly special, not only because Reese is a senior playing in his last Turkey Bowl, but because for the first time Reese will be celebrating as a big brother.

Earlier this year, Reese's family adopted his three younger cousins. He's accepted his role as older brother with open arms. 

"I always looked up to my sister... now they can look up to me," Reese said. 

In addition to being a role model at home, head coach Donald Davis said Reese inspires the younger players on the field. 

"He's been a guy who's been able to coach some of his teammates and help mentor some of the younger guys as they come up through the system," Davis said.

Reese said he's done his best to prepare some of the younger players for the Turkey Bowl, but as much as they try to prepare, they won't get it until taking the field Thanksgiving morning.

Davis said Reese has come to every game and practice with a positive attitude, despite being injured.

"He's just a tremendous kid. Everything about him from his work ethic to his attitude. He's tremendously devoted to his family, which is I think part of thing that sets him apart as a young man," coach said.

Coming back from injury, Reese is looking forward to stepping on the field at M&T Bank Stadium.

"It's my last one. It's the last one I can play in physically and enjoy that with the seniors around me," he said.

Reese said adopting his cousins has shaped how he sees family. Before he saw his family as just himself, his parents and sister, but now his family includes extended members and friends. 

"Having that experience has just changed my life completely," Reese said.

Turkey Bowl kicks off at 10 a.m. Thanksgiving Day from M&T Bank Stadium. Watch the game on ABC2 or live stream.

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