The Los Angeles Rams and Nike celebrated one of the longest-standing high school rivalry games in the country when James A. Garfield High School and Theodore Roosevelt High School faced off in the 88th East LA Classic. Since 1925, this rivalry game has been deep-rooted in the heart of the community in East Los Angeles, drawing crowds of up to 40,000 fans.
This year marked the first time in history a girls' flag game between Garfield and Roosevelt was a feature of the East LA Classic.
Roosevelt boys' program was considered big underdogs to Garfield. When Roosevelt won the flag game, senior quarterback Brandy Escobar said, "If the boys couldn't do it, we're going to do it."
In partnership with Nike, the Rams selected the East LA Classic matchups as their High School Games of the Week. As part of the Rams' game of the week program, the team and Nike provided each girls' flag team with a $1,000 equipment donation and branded flags to wear during the game.
"The support that we have from our administration, student body [and] the events that went along with [the East LA Classic], that was for them, and that's what they need," said Roosevelt head coach Juan Pimentel on the importance of his girls' flag team being part of the day.
"This is a special night because it doesn't just bring an incredible game together, but the community of East LA to celebrate the power of football," said Johnathan Franklin, Rams director of social justice and youth football.
Garfield & Roosevelt High School squared off in the infamous East LA classic. Browse photos of Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders and mascot Rampage at the game interacting with fans, organizing halftime competitions, distributing student-designed game posters, and cheering on both schools.
The boys' varsity matchup was highlighted as the Rams High School Game of the Week presented by Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions (AVP). AVP provided Garfield, as the winning team, with a $1,000 equipment donation. In addition, Garfield head coach, Lorenzo Hernandez, will be included in the Rams High School Coach of the Year nominations to receive an additional $6,000 donation. AVP also had two prize wheels onsite for fans featuring an opportunity to kick a field goal at halftime of the game with the winning fan from each school receiving an AVP gift card and basket.
Reflecting on the day, Escobar said, "it felt exhilarating being here, being a part of this tradition that has been going on for so many years. To be the first ever flag football team playing in our first classic, we were nervous, but we came out here and we did our job."
Rams Cheerleaders and mascot Rampage were also in attendance for both games as well as the Rams House Vehicle. Sweepstakes were featured for fans to win tickets to a Rams home game at SoFi Stadium as well as additional prizes.
Leading up to the East LA Classic, the Rams joined pep rallies at Garfield and Roosevelt to distribute 1,000 t-shirts to get athletes and students excited for the matchup. Nike also gifted both the girls' flag and boys' varsity football teams as well as each school's dance team with gear.
This rivalry matchup drew large crowds of alumni and current students from each school out for a memorable night. The Rams are proud to be a part of such a historic event in the Los Angeles community.
For more information about the Rams' community outreach efforts, visit www.therams.com/community.