Coastal Connections crew picks Amesbury to win big

BRYAN EATON/Staff photoThe clients of Coastal Connections in Amesbury have chosen sides in the Thanksgiving Day football rivalry between Newburyport and Amesbury.

AMESBURY — The clients have called it: The Amesbury Fighting Indians varsity football team will defeat their crosstown rivals, the Newburyport Clippers, by a score of 32-13 on Thursday morning.

Newburyport High School will host the annual Thanksgiving day football game against Amesbury High School at 10 a.m. and roughly 20 Coastal Connections clients came together Tuesday to record their predictions and scores.

Coastal Connections offers day programs for people with disabilities and a dozen clients picked Amesbury to win again this year with their aggregate score coming out to 32-13. Only eight people picked Newburyport to win by a score of 36-19. (Amesbury beat Newburyport 8-0 last Thanksgiving.)

Paraprofessionals Pam Holt and Nancy Klein joined forces with their co-workers, as well as clients Michael Nardone, Eoin Robertson, Hawley Lawliss and David Junkins to gather up the votes Tuesday.

"When Amesbury wins on Thursday, the Newburyport people will be taking us to Mama Dukes for breakfast," Klein said, referring to a breakfast spot on Merrimac Street in Newburyport.

"If Newburyport wins, we will be taking them to McDonald’s," she said.

Holt and Klein are members of the Amesbury High School Athletic Hall of Fame and both picked their alma mater to win Thursday.

Holt predicted that her Amesbury Fighting Indians will be victorious on the road against Newburyport by a score of 44-12.

"When it is a rival like Amesbury and Newburyport, I really think you throw all of the records out the window," Holt said. "It's really about whoever wants it more on that day."

Klein said the guessing game was designed to be fun and keep everyone on their toes.

Whichever group's team is victorious on the gridiron, their winning guess will stay on the boards until Monday.

"This builds community, it builds communication, it builds math skills and it is fun," Executive Director Deb Plumer said. "It is a fun way of learning and it is a friendly competition, which is healthy."

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

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