All 180 sandwiches are made and bagged within an hour by a five-parent crew that includes Joy Benion and Denise Hoffman. (DAVID PIERINI/Staff Photographer)

Editor’s note: The story below was originally published just about a year ago. In honor of its memory, our first installation of Throwback Thursday belongs to, “Lunchmeat, love and football,” which was very well received by our readers and a testament to the Huskies’ appetitie for a state championship and sandwiches, not neccesarily in that order! And in case you were wondering, the tradition continues this season…


The road to a high school football championship is paved with 4,050 slices of lunchmeat.

This is straight from the playbook of Jonna Borgdorff, the leader of a special teams unit that makes 180 pre-game meals each week for the sophomore and varsity squads at Oak Park and River Forest High School.

A three-meat sandwich with cheese and lettuce, a bag of chips, chewy fruit snack and a bottle of water is made for each player on game day.

Borgdorff, the daughter of a football coach, knows how to organize and solve logistical puzzles.

She fills an extra large cart on her Thursday Costco runs, the store’s layout firmly fixed in her head so she can get in and out with maximum efficiency. On Friday mornings, she opens 180 brown paper bags, getting them ready to be filled by a team of parents who get to her house around noon to assemble the lunches, all of which are made and bagged in an hour or less.

“I have boys and I know how much they eat,” said Borgdorff, who can be seen on the sidelines of all games. She doubles as the team photographer.

“They’re delighted to get the food, and it makes me happy because I get to know the kids.”

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