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‘This is our Super Bowl’: East L.A., Boyle Heights high schools face off at Coliseum with bragging rights at stake

When Theodore Roosevelt High School and James A. Garfield High School faced off at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Friday night, it was more than just a normal football game.

Bragging rights were on the line for Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles in the East L.A. Classic, a yearly matchup attended by tens of thousands.

“It means everything. It means Boyle Heights, East L.A., we’re Boyle Heights … It brings the community together, unites the community… This is our Super Bowl, our Super Bowl for all of East L.A.,” said Roosevelt alumna Virginia Miranda.

It’s not only students who are wrapped up in the action on the gridiron, which the Bulldogs won 16-8. Alumni from both schools were out in force.

“I’m class of 2001. It is an honor and I’m a very prideful Bulldog,” said Garfield alumna Nancy Bravo.

“We are class of ’79,” said Lettie Jaramillo, a graduate of Roosevelt. “This is a way to come back to the community and see how we have grown, how we have still bonded, because this is a family.”

And future Bulldogs and Rough Riders were also in attendance.

“We’re super excited. It’s my daughter’s second year in the classic. Let’s go Brianna. Yes, look these are our little cheerleaders from East L.A. and our football players,” Garfield alumna Vivian Roman said to raucous cheers.

The rivalry has recently been one-sided, with Roosevelt breaking a 10-year losing streak last year in a 22-19 win.

“We’ve only won one time in the last decade, it’d be great [to win] dude,” said Roosevelt junior Joshua Nunez.

For those who aren’t football fans, the Grammy-winning group Black Eyed Peas performed at halftime, creating an atmosphere that everyone could appreciate, said a Roosevelt grad named Erlinda.

“It’s nice to be back after so many years, especially with this great halftime performance,” Erlinda said. “Who wouldn’t want to go ahead and be here?”

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