Chaminade vs. Gardena Serra: Big-game rivalry resumes Friday

Coaches Ed Croson of Chaminade and Scott Altenberg of Gardena Serra have probably lost plenty of hair from the drama and excitement of their teams’ football rivalry through the years. And they love it.

“There’s a bunch of memories,” Croson said.

As their teams prepare to face off again in a Mission League game Friday night on Serra’s new all-weather field, it should be noted how many outstanding players have participated in this annual game that began in 2010.

The list of skill position players alone is off the charts for Serra, including Robert Woods, Adoree’ Jackson, George Farmer, Marqise Lee and Khalil Tate. For Chaminade, there’s Brad Kaaya, Andrew Van Buren, TJ Pledger, Michael Wilson and Ryan Stevens.

Some of the games have been so good that Bally Sports SoCal keeps running them in its look-back series.

In 2013, Chaminade lost to Serra 36-0, then came back to beat the Cavaliers in the Southern Section Western Division championship game on Ben Kreitenberg’s 27-yard field goal as time expired. In 2012, Serra lost to Chaminade in the league game and won the section final 30-28. That’s the game in which Chaminade insists it recovered an onside kick.

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In 2017, Van Buren, now a Boise State running back, rushed for 317 yards and scored five touchdowns in Chaminade’s 37-32 win.

This season, Chaminade is 4-1 and Serra is 2-3. Both had to cancel games because of COVID-19 protocols. Serra is supposed to get back this week two key players from injuries, quarterback Maalik Murphy and wide receiver/defensive back Rodrick Pleasant.

Prepare for another classic in the rivalry series.

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