Demons repeat as Elite Eight Turkey Bowl champions

The alumni from Reynolds wins back-to-back Elite Eight Turkey Bowl championships.

Demons repeat as Elite Eight Turkey Bowl champions
December 02
13:00 2021

The Elite Eight Alumni Association crowned its 2021 Turkey Bowl Champion on Thanksgiving afternoon. Because of the pandemic, there was not a game last year, so the Reynolds Demons were seeking to repeat their 2019 victory and that’s exactly what they did.

The Demons matched up against Parkland in the finals and were dominant from start to finish in the game. The Reynolds alumni looked strong once again throughout the tournament and played like they had something to prove.

This year’s game was held at Ray Agnew Field and people flocked to the field to cheer on the alumni players from Glenn, Parkland, East Forsyth, West Forsyth, North Forsyth, Carver, Mt. Tabor and Reynolds. There seems to be more of an influx of younger players to the game as the years go by.

“We have definitely noticed it and it’s encouraging,” said Shermane McGriff, Turkey Bowl organizer. “What I was explaining to someone else is that this is the whole idea. We want to get younger [participants], not only just younger, but also more involved with the community aspect as well.

“Sometimes I think with the competitiveness in the sport and also wanting to win, that overshadows our main purpose, which is to give back to the community.”

The Elite Eight Alumni Association was able to collect over 300 pairs of socks for men, women and children that will be donated to the Bethesda Center and Salvation Army.  

Even with a competitive atmosphere, the event was incident-free as have all Elite Eight events. Organizers are proud that they are able to bring together a family-friendly event where there have been no problems for over a decade.

“That’s the tone we wanted to set from the beginning,” McGriff said about the safe atmosphere at the Turkey Bowl and other Elite Eight events. “With not only giving back to the community, but also showing the city that we can all come from different parts of town and come together as one big family reunion with no violence at all.

“This is our twelfth annual event, due to COVID, and with those 12 events we have had no incidents at all. That speaks volumes, because we bring out a large number of people and have held this at various places in the city as well.”

McGriff says the foundation of the organization is giving back, so to have the ability to donate over 300 pairs of socks to the less fortunate is a blessing, he said.

“We are here to serve,” he said. “You have to be of service and it does us well to be able to just give back to those that may be in a bind and to also understand that that could be us or our family members as well. So, we always want to give back as much as we can and as best we can.”

The Elite Eight are very active during the holiday season. In less than a month, the Elite Eight Toy Drive and Holiday Classic will take place. On Dec. 18 the alumni will lace them up and hit the hardwood, but more importantly, toys will be collected for donating to Family Services of Forsyth County.

“The toy drive has been one of the more active events,” he said. “I have to shout out to my brother Patrick Douthit, or some know him as 9th Wonder. What he has done in the past eight or more years is the Friday night before we hold the event that Saturday, he does his 95 Live set down in the Raleigh/Durham area and he asks those in attendance to bring toys. He gathers those toys and brings them here to Winston to our event and donates them to us so we can donate them to Family Services of Forsyth County.

“He has done this for the past eight years, so collaborating with him with what we already collect from our players and those in attendance is great. We never ask anyone to bring any toys, but if you would like to, that’s great.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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