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Media Release: Elkhart Central vs. Elkhart Memorial in Great American Rivalry Series

August 13, 2015

Elkhart Central vs. Elkhart Memorial Featured in Great American Rivalry Series
Indiana’s “Battle for the Mangy Lion” HS Football Rivalry Receives National Attention

Elkhart, IN:  August  13, 2015 – The Great American Rivalry Series is proud to announce that it will feature the “Battle for the Mangy Lion” between annual rivals the Elkhart Central Blue Blazers and the Elkhart Memorial Chargers in the Series’ first weekend of games for 2015. This famed Indiana rivalry will be presented this year by the United States Marine Corps and played on August 21 at Elkhart Central. Featuring some of the longest running rivalries in high school football, the 2015 Great American Rivalry Series will feature 100 showdowns nationwide.  All of these games come with great football, hard earned sweat and a heavy dose of hometown pride.

For the 12th year, the Great American Rivalry Series has selected an exclusive collection of top-notch rivalries across the country, covering 40 states and over 100 cities throughout the country. Wrapped in tradition, these annual battles excite entire communities, while celebrating the schools, their teams, and their fans. We Know Friday NightsTM

Series founder Rick Ford notes that, “With all the traditions of these games including bonfires, pep rallies, and parades, high school football has brought communities together to watch their teams compete in these classic battles for more than a hundred years.”

The Central Blue Blazers and the Memorial Chargers will take the field for week one of the 2015 Series continuing their battle for the Mangy Lion Trophy, which has been played since the division of Central and the creation of Memorial in 1972. Mangy was commissioned by the Elkhart Lion’s Club in 1972 and carved by Jim Holland, who was a longtime Elkhart Community Schools teacher. Mr. Holland found a large walnut tree in the woods that had been downed by a lightning strike (250 pounds before carving). He thought it the perfect tree out of which to mold a trophy, since, by surviving a brutal storm, it had already demonstrated the strength and perseverance he wanted the trophy to represent. Elkhart Central leads the series 24-19.  Over the 43 years of the series Central has outscored Memorial 823-574 and Central currently houses Mangy going into the 2015 game.

The Central-Memorial game was selected as one of the top 100 must-see match ups for the 12th Annual Series and is always a highly anticipated early season game in the Elkhart community. The Blue Blazers and Chargers will both enter the game hungry as they attempt to start the year off on the right track with a big rivalry win.

The winning team on the field earns year-long bragging rights with the historic Mangy Lion Trophy, along with the Great American Rivalry Series Champions trophy, presented by the Marines. The game’s Most Valuable Player and the top student-athlete from each school are also recognized as part of the Series. Along with these awards, an alumnus from each school will be inducted into the 12th class of the Great American Rivalry Series Hall of Fame.

“We are excited to partner once again with the Great American Rivalry Series,” said Leroy Pennington, Marketing Specialist for the United States Marine Corps “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.”

You can find more information at GreatAmericanRivalry.com or through the Series’ Twitter (@AmericanRivalry), Facebook, YouTube and Instagram accounts. Previews and past results will be posted throughout the season with details of the teams and the history of the rivalries, and after the game. Fans can relive the excitement with photo galleries and game recaps.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Fans can add to the intensity of the rivalry via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #GreatAmericanRivalry. The Rivalry can also be found on Pinterest (AmericanRivalry) and YouTube. Fan photos posted with this hashtag may be featured on the Great American Rivalry Series website’s new Fan Photo Gallery, Pinterest Page and promoted via our other social media outlets.

ABOUT THE GREAT AMERICAN RIVALRY SERIES

In 2004, iHigh, Inc. (now known as BrainBox Intelligent Marketing) created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” In its first 11 years, the Series has gone to more than 500 games in 40 states and continues to shine the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky-high, and fans are committed.

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For more information, please call 859-948-5616 or visit www.greatamericanrivalry.com. To schedule a phone interview with Series founder, Richard A. Ford, please email david.kravetz@bbim.com.

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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.