WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – After a surprising turn of events, Academies at Anacostia will get a chance to revive their season by playing for the city title in D.C.’s Turkey Bowl on Thursday, and win their first championship in seventeen years.
Anacostia, who lost 40-20 to Wilson last week in post-season play, learned they’d been promoted to play in the 43rd Annual D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) Turkey Bowl against Dunbar at Eastern High School on Thanksgiving, after receiving word that Wilson had been disqualified.
An investigation by D.C. Public Schools revealed Wilson had used an ineligible player earlier in the season – a non-resident – during two of its games, according to the Washington Post, forcing the school to forfeit those games, making them ineligible for post-season play.
Anacostia’s coach, Cato June – a former NFL linebacker and ‘97 All-Met Defensive Player of the year – helped the school wins its last title as a player in 1995. He says it doesn’t matter how the team got into the game, he just wants his players to have that same feeling he had as a champion.
“I don’t want to bring the silver home,” June said. “The goal is to bring a gold trophy, the championship trophy, back to southeast.”
Expectation for the team seems to be high across the board, despite the school backing into the championship game.
“I’ll be there from the first whistle to the last whistle,” said Principal Ian Roberts. “I’ll be there to watch and support them when they win the winner’s trophy.”
Anacostia’s players were shocked to hear the news they’d be playing for the title after they had already hung up their uniforms for the year.
“I thought my teammate was lying,” said senior safety Ahmahd Ryans. “It’s just a blessing to be in the Turkey Bowl.”
Anacostia (6-4) takes on Dunbar (7-2), who defeated H.D. Woodson 28-14 last week in the Semi-Finals. The Turkey Bowl Championship game kicks off at Eastern High School at 11 a.m. on Thursday.