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Media Release: Harlingen (TX) vs. San Benito (TX)

October 7, 2015

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Harlingen, TX:  Oct. 2, 2015 – The Great American Rivalry Series is proud to announce that it will feature “The Battle of the Arroyo” which is the longest running football series in the Rio Grande Valley. This annual game features the Harlingen Cardinals and the San Benito Greyhounds who will meet each other in the Series’ eighth weekend of games for 2015. This game will be presented by the United States Marine Corps and is played on Friday, October 9 at Harlingen High School. 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 great 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

San Benito is Harlingen’s neighboring community. The towns were once divided by the Arroyo Colorado. What was once the San Benito end of the arroyo is now within the Harlingen city limits. In some ways, that is symbolic of Harlingen’s domination of the rivalry. Although the Cardinals have dominated the series, the Greyhounds have enjoyed some pockets of success. Perhaps the most successful coach for San Benito in the storied series is Mario Pena, who coached the Greyhounds from 2003 to 2008. In those six seasons, Pena’s Greyhounds went 3-3. The game between each school has been played 81 times with bragging rights and many times (prior to the recent district realignment) playoff spots on the line. 2015 will be the 87th “Battle” with Harlingen leading the series 58-21-5 and 2-0 in playoffs. The Cardinals, who have had 32 state football playoff appearances, lost to San Benito in 2014. Down 21-3 with just under nine minutes remaining in the game, the Greyhounds never quit, and scored three times, the go-ahead touchdown coming with only :30 remaining on the clock. The Cardinals will certainly be looking for vengeance in 2015.

The winning team will take home 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.

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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.

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Fans can add to the intensity of the rivalry via Twitter, Facebook, 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.

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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.