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Great American Rivalry Hockey Series kicks off this weekend in Detroit

January 15, 2010

The 2010 Outdoor Classic at Clark Park in Detroit has been selected by the Great American Rivalry Series to kick off the inaugural season of Great American Hockey Rivalries. Working alongside the United States Air Force, the Series will cover the action as longtime rivals the Cranbrook Cranes and the Catholic Central Shamrocks face off for the 75th time on Sunday, January 17, at 2pm. Over 1400 fans are expected to pack the stands to witness this historic contest. Pre-game activities will include a junior varsity game at 10am and alumni games at 12noon and 1pm.

These two rival teams have been competing since 1935 at arenas throughout the Detroit area. Since the sanctioning of hockey by the Michigan High School Athletic Association in 1979, they have combined for 23 MHSAA Championships.

The Great American Rivalry Series emerged initially to celebrate the cultural phenomenon of Friday night high school football, shining the spotlight on classic gridiron clashes where expectations are sky high and die-hard fans abound. After successful completion of five seasons of football rivalries, the Series has expanded this season to include the winter season excitement of ice hockey.

As part of the Series, the winning team not only earns bragging rights but also the coveted Great American Rivalry Champion trophy, presented by a member of the United States Air Force. The Series also awards the top student-athlete from each school a college scholarship.

Catholic Central’s scholarship recipient is forward Anthony Rossi from Milford. The son of Antonio and Olympia Rossi, Anthony has a 4.287 grade-point average and is a member of the National Honor Society, Gabriel Richard Club, and Student Council. He has also volunteered for Focus Hope, tutors underclassmen, and coaches Little League baseball. Cranbook’s recipient is Kevin Collon from Bloomfield Hills, a three-year letterman in hockey and a four-year letterman in lacrosse. Kevin is the son of Marybeth and David Collon and has a 4.48 GPA. He is a National Merit Semifinalist and a member of the Cum Laude Society.

Fans can also be part of the rivalry action when they stop by the Air Force tent to participate in the Air Force Challenge. Prizes can be earned upon completion.

“The Air Force is proud to be part of the Great American Rivalry Hockey Series,” said Master Sgt. Jeffrey B. Morris, program manager, Events Marketing for Headquarters Air Force Recruiting Service. “This allows us to showcase how teamwork, dedication, and commitment to excellence goes beyond the ice hockey rink. It helps us connect with fans and emphasize these values are common in both hockey and the Air Force. We are excited and pleased to be associated with this series, the schools and the student athletes.”

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What is the Great American Rivalry Series?

Each fall for over a century, high school football has been the centerpiece for families and communities on Friday night. In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed.