The East L.A. Classic Brings Together Two Predominantly Latino High Schools In A Heated Football Rivalry

Credit: Delirio Films / Vimeo

“People think I’m just another screw-up… another Mexican screw-up, you could say.”

East Los Angeles is home to one of the most heated rivalries in high school football. Dubbed the “East L.A. Classic,” it involves Garfield High, the school that was once home to teacher Jaime Escalante, who inspired the film “Stand and Deliver.” It’s also the alma mater of Oscar de la Hoya, musicians Los Lobos and writer Helena Maria Viramontes. On the other side of the rivalry is Roosevelt High, which counts former U.S. Senator Gil Cedillo, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and boxer Genaro Hernandez among its alumni.

A new documentary, “The Classic,” details the decades-long — they’ve faced each other 82 times — rivalry between the two schools. It also follows the lives of several student athletes from Roosevelt and Garfield — both predominantly Latino schools. The film is an official selection of the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival, and according to Deadline, “The Classic” has already inspired a Sofia Vergara-produced TV drama that is currently in development by ABC Television. Mike Tollin, co-chairman of Mandalay Sports Media, which is co-producing the series, told Deadline, “While some might look at this as a ‘Latino Friday Night Lights,’ it’s way more than that.”

READ: Meet Some of the Latino Football Players Who Made NFL History

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