Los Angeles Preps: Steven De La Torre
November, 3, 2011
By Mario Villegas | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mario Villegas for ESPNLosAngeles.comRoosevelt and Garfield players stand together in promotion of this year's East L.A. Classic.
There’ll be more than just bragging rights on the east side of L.A. Friday night, when Garfield and Roosevelt meet in the East Los Angeles Classic.
The winner gets a City Section Division I playoff berth.
“It’s truly an honor to be part of this game every year, but this is for the playoffs, and not just bragging rights,” said Roosevelt coach Javier Cid, who played in the game as a Rough Rider and is a former Garfield assistant coach.
An estimated capacity crowd of 20,000 will pack the stadium at East Los Angeles College for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff for the 77th meeting between the Bulldogs and the Rough Riders. Both teams lost to unbeaten South East and the winner likely will finish second in the Eastern League.
“Unfortunately, we both lost to South East, and the only opponent that we’ve played that they haven’t played is Bell, and they should beat Bell, so this is the right way to determine second place,” Garfield coach Lorenzo Hernandez said.
Both Garfield and Roosevelt are Division I teams, but the Eastern League is guaranteed only one berth in the City’s upper-division brackets.
“This game not only means a lot to us and the East L.A. community, but it’s also for the playoffs,” Garfield defensive lineman Martin Soto said.
South East, which is expected to win the league outright, is Division II.
Garfield (4-5, 4-1) played a rugged nonleague schedule, losing to Bishop Amat, Edison, Dorsey and St. Paul and opened league against South East. The Bulldogs have rolled off four straight wins since and end the regular season against Roosevelt.
Roosevelt (5-3, 3-1), which plays Bell (2-6) next week, bounced from the loss to South East to defeat Huntington Park and Jordan.