What started as a family tradition for Jordan, Clayton, Luke and Justin Whitworth has turned into one of the most inspirational holiday traditions in Blue Springs.

What started as a family tradition for Jordan, Clayton, Luke and Justin Whitworth has turned into one of the most inspirational holiday traditions in Blue Springs.

The four brothers – who all played football at Blue Springs High School – get together during the Thanksgiving holiday season to play football at Peve Stadium.

Five years ago, they called enough friends to field four teams.

This year, that number will rise dramatically as players from a number of area high schools and colleges will participate in the first Jake Cavanaugh Turkey Bowl at Peve Stadium and the practice field located just west of Blue Springs High School.

“It’s amazing how this has all grown,” said Eric Silkwood, a former teammate of twins Jordan and Clayton, who graduated in 2006. “At first, we just all got together to play some touch football.

“Now, we’re raising money for a great cause, the Jake Cavanaugh Foundation.”

Cavanaugh was a football teammate of the Whitworths who lost his battle with cancer last year. The Whitworths decided to hold the annual football event as a fundraiser for their buddy and they were able to donate $500 to the family.

This year, the Cavanaugh Foundation has selected a Blue Springs family as the recipient of the funds raised from the Turkey Bowl. The McFerrin family has a teenager battling cancer and the family also lost a son in a car accident.

“We worked with the Cavanaugh family and found a family that needs some help,” Silkwood said. “That’s the great thing about the Turkey Bowl. Fans can come out and watch the game and have a great time and they can also help a family that needs some help during the holidays.”

This year’s Jake Cavanaugh Turkey Bowl will begin at 9 a.m. Friday with a longest pass competition. The games will begin at 10 a.m. at both the practice field and Peve Stadium.

“We still have room for a couple of teams,” Silkwood said. “It’s $100 per team, and if you want to come out and play, we’ll find a spot for players.”

Last year’s event was like a who’s who of former Examiner Players of the Year, all-area and all-state standouts and even a Simone Award winner in Blue Springs South quarterback Blaine Dalton.

“All the guys love to come out and play,” Silkwood said. “You can eat all the turkey you want on Thanksgiving and then come work it off Friday at the Turkey Bowl.”

There is no admission charge for the event, but commemorative T-shirts will be sold and there will be several raffles.

“If you don’t want to play, come out and watch your favorite team,” Silkwood encouraged. “A lot of work has gone into this event and we’re proud of what we’re going to offer.”

For more information on the Turkey Bowl, go to www.jakecavanaugh.com.