By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
For over three decades, the Palisades High football program has enjoyed pregame meals courtesy of Gladstones Restaurant.
Make it 33 years and counting—a streak kept alive Sept. 20 thanks to the generosity of the local seafood eatery’s general manager Jim Harris and his staff, who prepared fresh spaghetti, bread and salad, which Pali Quarterback Club board member Jill Calcaterra delivered to the outdoor cafeteria on campus for coaches, managers and players to consume before that night’s “Sunset Showdown” with crosstown rival Brentwood at Stadium by the Sea.
No doubt the carbs played a role in the Dolphins’ 21-13 win that earned them neighborhood bragging rights in a crosstown rivalry started last fall.
Pali High football life experience coach Joe Spector started the tradition in 1987 when his son Todd was a senior left tackle for the Dolphins under former head coach Jack Epstein. Since then, Gladstones (located at PCH and Sunset) has served over 6,000 meals to more than 1,600 players before Palisades home games.
The tradition is near and dear to Spector, who also presents the Joe Spector Award to the varsity Most Valuable Player every year at the postseason banquet.
On Monday, Spector was honored at Kehillat Israel for his long and tireless support for the temple and its youth, many of whom have also participated in athletics at Pali High.
“So many of the kids never had a place to eat before a game because they were bused in from all over,” Spector recalled. “That’s how it started and we’ve kept it going all these years.”