The Turkey and Santa Bowl started in 1996 on the fields of Brill Elementary School. While there was representation from the '95 semi-final state playoff Klein team, Justin Jacobs (class of '96 - Yale - DB) and Johnathan Hebert (class or '96 - Notre Dame - WR), the history of the game was built on epic touchdown passes to sure-handed athletes like David Michels (class of '97 - Univ of Texas) and the fights between Doerre legend, Justin Hodge (class of '99 - Texas A&M) and self-proclaimed free safety Clint Macha (class of '97 - Univ of Texas). The game moved on to the Freshman fields of Klein in 1998 after a group of 8 year old soccer players hit Kevin Michels (class of '99 -Texas A&M) in the face with a soccer ball, and in 2005, we got a little more organized and set up a playoff system between the rival classes of Klein High School and moved to Klein Memorial Stadium. The game has become a Klein, TX treasure since all players must have or will have played football in the Klein Program in order to be eligible for the Turkey or Santa Bowl Championship and coveted golden football. People from all over the country come out to see how out of shape these legendary players have become. The year by year history is below.
Class of 1996 won handily with players from the State Semifinal 1995 team consisting of Justin Jacobs (class of '96 - Yale - DB), Johnathan Hebert (class of '96 - Notre Dame - WR), Matt "Matteau Bomair" Bomer (class of '96 - Carnegie Mellon Univ), and Markus Lloyd (class of '96 - TCU).
From 1997 - 98, the Class of 1997 dominated the competition due to the speed and quickness of linebacker Joey "Baby Boy" Cook (Class of '97 - BYU) and the Co-Free Safeties Clint Macha (class of '97 - Univ of Texas) and Jason Hebert (class of '97 - Rice Univ/San Diego Chargers - FS). Kleb standout WR Scott Owen (class of '97 - Auburn Univ) was known for his sure hands, L2R2 move, and his excellent clock stopping abilities. The c/o '97's greatest play recorded was the Tucker Fowler to David Michels (class of '97 - Univ of Texas) Hail Mary on old Brill field. The game was in its purest form at that moment. However, do to the lack of leadership, the class of '97 suffered their first lost to the class of 1999 in 1999. They have yet to regain a complete team and compete at the current level of competition.
The Class of 1999 has won more Turkey/Santa Bowls than any other classes thus to date. Klein record setting quarterback Dan Burke (class of ' 99 - Notre Dame) connected with sure handed Matt Kuehn (class of ' 99 - Sam Houston State Univ) and movie star ("The Rookie") Kevin Michels (class of ' 99 - Univ of Texas) to establish this team as a powerhouse. Justin Bowersock (class of ' 99 - Univ of Texas A&M) was always a quick score threat as long as he didn't have a face altering ailment or poison ivy of the ankle keeping him from his full potential. Jordan Hase (class of ' 99 - Cornell - CB), Justin Hodge (class of ' 99 - Texas A&M), and Adam Turner (class of ' 99 - Univ of Texas A&M) also helped establish the stone-wall defense by trash talking. Play calls from Justin Hebert (class of ' 99 - Auburn Univ - LB) such as, "I am going to look real sorry and run a 5 yard route," also helped to establish this class as the "team to beat" and the 3-peat Santa Bowl Champions from (1999 to 2001). But even the class of '99 suffered defeat to the class of 2001 in the '02 Santa Bowl.
Former Quarterback, Ryan Frazier (class of ' 01 - Baylor - WR) , and 2006 Santa Bowl MVP, led the class of 2001 to a back to back Santa bowl championship. However their game was won in the trenches by all-time leading punt/field goal blocking linebacker Matt Mundy (class of ' 01 - University of St. Thomas). Sure Handed Jeff Hebert (class of ' 01 - Texas A&M - WR), Shoulder Dislocating LB Tim Anselmi (class of ' 01 - Arkansas Univ), actor Derek Alvarado (class of ' 01 - Univ of Texas), and freakish athletic ability from Josh Barfield (class of ' 01 - MLB Padres/Indians) made this team one the toughest threats.
Then came the legendary Freshman team of the class of ' 03 led by Josh Mize (class of '03 - LA Monroe - LB), Ashton Youboutty (class of ' 03 - Ohio State - Buffalo Bills - CB), Nathan Ray (class of ' 03 - University of Texas), Josh Hebert (class of ' 03 - Auburn Univ - CB), Trio Gibson (class of ' 03 - Tarleton State University - RB), and Robert Killebrew (class of ' 03 - Univ of Texas - LB). Their skill was great, yet their lack of discipline led to their demise.
The Santa Bowl (Snow Bowl) was won by the old class of '99 plus the aid of quick speed Alex Tran (class of ' 00 - Univ of Texas) and Jason Hebert (class of '97 - Rice Univ/San Diego Chargers - FS). It was truly a massacre.
QB Dan Burke (class of ' 99 - Univ of Notre Dame) was voted Santa Bowl MVP.
In the Semi-Playoffs, a last chance, last play 45 yard Hail Mary from Dan Burke (class of ' 99 - Notre Dame) to Kevin Michels (class of ' 99 - Univ of Texas), sent the class of '99 to the finals over the young, agile class of '06 led by Homecoming King, Horace Gibson (class of ' 06). However the class of ' 01 with the aid of Jordan Hebert (class of '14) won in the finals against an exhausted class of ' 99.
Ryan Frazier (class of ' 01 - Baylor Univ. - WR), was voted Santa Bowl MVP.
The Class of 1999 ran the table in the round robin and met the class of 2006 in the finals. Led by QB Brett Dewhurst (class of ' 06 - Texas Tech Univ. - DB), Shane Jones (class of ' 06 - Texas Tech Univ.) and Chris Bingham (class of ' 06), the class of 2006 claimed their first Santa Bowl win. This win was a changing of the guards for the Santa Bowl by marking the youngest team to ever claim this title. At the end of the day, the class of 2006 was incredibly faster than the class of 99. The game was sealed with remarkable QB skills and a last play interception by Chris Bingham (class of ' 06 - Texas Tech). The class of 2006 won by two scores.
Brett Dewhurst (class of ' 06 - Texas Tech Univ. - DB) was named Santa Bowl MVP.
7 teams and over 60 players showed up for one of the most memorable bowls recorded to date. The round Robin Tournament was dominated by the Class of 2001. QB Ryan Frazier, Steve Burke, Colby Wilson, Matt Mundy, Tim Anselmi, Chris Robinson, Jordan Hebert and classically best dressed Derek Alvarado, dominated the Round Robin Tournament going 3-0. They fared well in style points and best dressed points.
The Class of 2007 and returning Santa Bowl Champs led by Chris Bingham c/o 2006 also played well in pool play. The mostly '99 team consisting of QB Dan Burke, David Michels, Kevin Michels, Matt Kuehn, Brandon Taylor, Justin Bowersock, Markus Lloyd, Jeremy Lloyd, and Justin Hebert made it out of pool play at 2-1. No one thought very much of the class of 99+. No one even considered this team as a threat. The younger classes noted, "This team [1999+] has no chance of winning. Even if they were to win, it would be a Cinderella story that should eventually be made into an ABC Sunday night movie. No way, no how, would this team ever get out of the first round."
In the first round of tournament play, the class of 1999+, 2001, & 2003 won their first round of tournament play. This knocked off the class of 2007, 2000, and 2006 respectively. In the semi finals between the c/0 99+ team [Ed Baily '00 and Brandon Lathan '00 were recruited] and 2003, Jimmy Dalhoff (c/o 2003) had one of the best plays of the tournament. On a first and 45, Jimmy intercepted his own deflected pass from Dan Burke to score the first 6 points of the game. At the end of regular time, the score was c/o 2003 - 6 to c/o 1999+ - 0. The class of 1999+ struggled on offense not having even moved past the 30 yard line on any of their own possessions. However, on the seventh and final play of the game, Dan Burke rolled out and threw a 45 yard bomb-dot-com in quadruple coverage to Kevin Michels. Mind you, in 2006, the same play, same situation, same people, was ran to success in the semi-finals of 1999 vs. 2006. Kevin Michels came down with an improbable grab to tie the game 6 - 6 [Check out the video and photos of the grab below]. This pass-catch duo was likened to the 1997 infamous, David Michels Hail Mary, to seal c/o 97 last recorded victory. Appropriately, David Michels caught the winning one-point conversion to send the class of 1999+ to the Finals against their arch-rival c/o 2001.
It must have been the bi- in tournament play that the c/o 2001 received, that led to their loss. Experts in Vegas predicted the c/o 2001 to win by 6 but after some slow developing plays, the c/o 1999+ sealed their 5th Bowl Championship 13-7 over the agile and still skilled c/o 2001. After the game, newly appointed team manager Scott Owen reported, "On paper, today, the class of 2001 is better than us [1999+]. They have a little more speed and agility in some areas, but at the end of the day, you really cannot teach experience. That is how we won today. We stick to the basics and we win championships."
Kevin Michels (class of ' 99 - Univ. of Texas) was named Turkey Bowl MVP.
Class of 2007 won their second Klein Bowl Game. Huntley Grichor was named the 2009 Turkey Bowl MVP. [more to come]
#1 Defensive Ranked Jimmy Dalhoff was named the 2009 - Konicki Santa Bowl MVP