Every season, the Mission High School football team looks forward to one particular game: Thanksgiving Day’s Turkey Bowl, the championship game of San Francisco’s Academic Athletic Association.
Just one year ago, the Bears lost their only city game to Balboa, which ended their undefeated Cinderella season in the championship semifinal. The year before that, Mission High missed out on a season due to a lack of eligible varsity players.
Coach Joe Albano has spent this season and last rebuilding a team that will make the Bears’ first championship appearance since 1972.
Following the team’s semifinal victory over Lowell High School last week, Mission faces Washington High School for the city title tomorrow — a win the school hasn’t seen since 1954.
We asked players to show us their game faces and share what’s on their minds as they prepare for a big game.