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Tonight's Watsonville-Santa Cruz Football Game Picked as 'Great American Rivalry'

A national website ranks tonight's game between Santa Cruz and Watsonville high schools as one of the top 67 in the U.S.

Bring on the tail-gating, cookouts, face painting, crowd cheering, pep rallies, halftime showdowns, hometown pride and mud-slinging battles in the trenches. High school football is back on the field for a new season, and for the third time, the 2012 Great American Rivalry Series presented by the United States Marine Corps travels to New Orleans to cover the action. 

On Friday, September 7 at 7:30 p.m., longtime rivals the Santa Cruz Cardinals and the Watsonville Wildcatz will take the field for week three of the 2012 Great American Rivalry Series. Upwards of 7,000 fans are expected to come out and pack the stands at Santa Cruz High School to witness cross-county rival football at its best. 

The Santa Cruz-Watsonville game is one of 67 must-see match ups selected for the Marine-sponsored 2012 Rivalry Series. This tradition rich, annual rumble dates back to 1908 and features the two oldest schools in Santa Cruz County. The rivalry is one of the oldest in the state of California with Watsonville leading the all-time series 52-37-5.

The winning team not only earns bragging rights but also the coveted Great American Rivalry Series Champion trophy, presented on field by a United States Marine. The game’s Most Valuable Player is also named by media in attendance, and the Series awards the top student-athlete from each school a college scholarship. 

For many seniors, this may be the last big game of their high school athletic careers and the climax of their “Glory Days.” But for two alumni the spotlight will shine again as they are inducted into the Great American Rivalry Series Hall of Fame during a halftime ceremony, honoring their past performance in this historic rivalry. 

Student and fans are also encouraged to compete on behalf of their school by taking the Rivalry Series United States Marine Corps Chin-up Challenge. The school completing the most chin-ups will be awarded the Chin-up Challenge trophy, presented by the Marines during the game.

“We are excited to partner once again with the Great American Rivalry Series,” said Leroy Pennington, Marketing Specialist AC/S Recruiting United States Marine Corps Eastern Recruiting Region, Parris Island, SC. “The elite status of this Series fits perfectly with the Elite Warrior brand of the Marine Corps and we are proud to stand alongside these outstanding young athletes.”

The Great American Rivalry Series emerged from a desire to celebrate the cultural phenomenon of Friday night high school football. The Series shines the spotlight on classic gridiron clashes where expectations are sky high and die-hard fans abound.

For more information, contact 859-225-3399 or visit www.greatamericanrivalry.com

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