The Few, Proud Honor Tradition, Present Awards
By Lance Cpl. Wick
| 12th Marine Corps District | October 29, 2013
San Diego --
The Marine Corps is widely known for a few distinct traits. Its camaraderie, leadership and loyalty are a few of them, but it’s most known for pride in its history and tradition. All Marines know important historical dates and figures within the Marine Corps. Their past identifies them as Marines and makes them what they are.
Two southern California high schools can relate to the Marine Corps in the aspect of history and tradition. Cathedral Catholic High School and St. Augustine High School have been rivals for generations. Since the 60’s, these two schools battle the gridiron year after year, and the excitement never ceases.
The Marines of Recruiting Substation Clairemont attended the annual Cathedral Catholic Dons vs. St. Augustine Saint’s game at Cathedral Catholic High School Oct. 25, to recognize the deep historical rivalry the teams hold.
A stadium packed with 10,000 excited fans filled the air with cheering and shouting before the game even started, and even until the very end, the enthusiasm didn’t stop.
“The first football game between these schools was in 1966,” said Ensign Daniel Desantis, a Naval officer currently on temporary additional duty from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and a Cathedral Catholic alumnus. “The game usually draws between 6,000-10,000 fans, and it’s arguably the most attended high school football game in San Diego County.”
Desantis also noted the Marine Corps has an even deeper tie with Cathedral Catholic than most realize.
“The reason Cathedral Catholic’s colors are red and gold is because when it was founded in 1957 as University of San Diego High School, they didn’t have football jerseys and Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego donated the first football jerseys,” he said. “So from that day on, they’ve been red and gold.”
Like most from the high school, the Marines who attended didn’t realize the Marine Corps had such a connection with Cathedral Catholic, but instead focused on the competitive aspect of the annual game.
“In the Marine Corps, competition is something we thrive on,” said Sgt. Eddie Quezada, a recruiter from Recruiting Substation Clairemont. “This rivalry is something we want to be a part of, to bring out the competitive spirit of the players and encourage them to be the best they can be.”
Marines actively participated throughout the game, presenting various awards to fans and athletes before the game, during half-time and after the game. The Marines also threw t-shirts into the crowd. Fans were stirred when the Marines made their appearances, showing their support through the shouting and cheering in the crowd.
“The Marines become immersed into the rivalry community,” said Kristen Parker, vice president of national sales at iHigh Inc. “The ethos and teamwork the teams have matches so well with the teamwork, leadership and passion of the Marine Corps. It’s just so perfect.”
The game remained close until the second half, where St. Augustine expanded their lead to 12 points, winning 19-7.
Just as the past 30 years, next year will bring a new game and a new victor. The Marines will likely attend the next game to continue supporting the schools, students and competition.
“It’s a great confidence builder for the students to see they could be in the Marine’s shoes someday,” said Desantis. “I know they are honored to have the Marines here, and we are too.”