Turlock’s most-anticipated high school football game of the season may not be until next week, but the Pitman Pride and Turlock Bulldogs are already preparing for the 15th annual Harvest Bowl.
The annual crosstown matchup will take place Oct. 26 and has been a longstanding tradition in Turlock since the first Harvest Bowl game was played on Oct. 22, 2004. The game pits Turlock’s two public high schools against each other and for years has brought the community together under the bright lights of Joe Debely Stadium.
In the past, there have been two sale dates for Harvest Bowl tickets: one for current Turlock and Pitman students, and another for the community. This year, however, parents will have a day of their own to buy tickets in between the two.
On Thursday, student tickets will go on sale (one ticket per student) beginning at 7 a.m. in both schools’ Activities offices. Tickets will cost $3 with an ASB punch, or $6 without, and will be available for purchase before school, during lunch and after school.
On Friday, the first-ever Parent Pre-Sale will take place at both high schools (two tickets maximum). These tickets will only be available for parents and guardians of JV and varsity football and cheer students as well at Pitman Marching Band students. Tickets will only be sold to parents and guardians from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Activities for $8 each.
On Monday, general admission tickets will go on sale (two tickets maximum) from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Activities for $8 each.
During past years’ ticket sales, the community was typically allowed to purchase four tickets, however, the new Parent Pre-Sale cuts that number down to two.
“We selected a day to sell tickets to our students’ parents prior to the general public to allow parents the opportunity to see their student perform,” Pitman principal Angela Freeman said. “In the past, there have been situations where parents did not have the opportunity to purchase a ticket because they were sold out.”
Prior to the 2015 Harvest Bowl, the practice of providing early ticket access to students was established in order to encourage participation from both schools. A total of 3,400 tickets will be sold for the game, which unfortunately does not meet the annual demand for tickets.
Some parents of both Pride and Bulldog players had no choice but to look to scalpers in hopes of purchasing Harvest Bowl tickets in 2016 after tickets at THS sold out in hours, and were gone within a day at PHS. The usual draw of the crosstown rivalry paired with the league championship on the line made for an increased demand for tickets, and this year’s game is expected to have stakes just as high.
This is the first Harvest Bowl where both Turlock and Pitman will compete against each other in the Central California Athletic League after merging with Gregori, Enochs, Modesto and Downey high schools for league play this season. After last week’s games, both the Pride and the Bulldogs are undefeated in CCAL play, meaning that if both teams win this week, the Harvest Bowl will decide the first-ever CCAL champion.
The 15th annual Harvest Bowl will kickoff at Joe Debely stadium at 7 p.m. Oct. 26.