#Throwback Thursday: Lunchmeat, love and football

Huskies' pre-game meal important part of winning routine

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By 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."

Email: david@oakpark.com

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Reader Comments

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Ann Nason from Oak Park  

Posted: September 27th, 2014 1:29 PM

I'm so happy to see this well deserved recognition of a woman who does so much for OPRF support and spirit. What a treasure you are, Jonna ;)

Eric Davis from Oak Park  

Posted: September 25th, 2014 12:33 PM

Jonna Borgdorff is a civic treasure. As noted^ she follows a long tradition of parent support for Huskie athletics, but she also takes it to a new level. I hope the WJ will do a follow up on her equally inspiring support of our defending State Champion Huskie wrestling team!

Debby Preiser from River Forest  

Posted: September 25th, 2014 11:47 AM

What a labor of love! You rock, Huskie parents. Thanks, David, for the behind-the-scenes story and photos. Great headlilne: Lunchmeat, love and football!

Former OPRF parent from Oak Park  

Posted: September 25th, 2014 11:41 AM

I would like to mention that this is not something Jonna has done on her own. Making of lunches is a long time tradition - long before Mrs Borgdoff came onto the scene. For many years, parents have been shopping ( before Costco was convenient), meeting on Fridays & putting together healthy lunches for our football teams & coaches.....how about a shout out to all parents past & present who have helped support out student athletes? It's a great day to be a Huskie!

Annemarie Valenti from River Forest  

Posted: September 23rd, 2014 8:24 PM

Not only does she feed and photograph the boys football teams, Jonna has taken action shots of most of the other OPRF athletes as well. My daughter plays volleyball and we have enjoyed her great pictures of the team. So, I would like to echo the previous post, Thank you Jonna for all you do! And GO HUSKIES!

Susan from RF  

Posted: September 23rd, 2014 5:36 PM

Cute article.

Mary Shields from OP  

Posted: September 23rd, 2014 5:18 PM

Jonna you rock! Thanks for all that you do.

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