Let the rivalry begin – for the second time.
El Capitan High School’s freshman and junior varsity football teams will play crosstown rival Merced High School on Thursday evening, for the first time in 50 years.
Merced High was known as El Capitan from its opening in 1958 until 1962. The name now graces Merced’s newest high school, which opened this fall in north Merced.
Mike Bik, a leader of the El Capitan High School alumni group from a half-century ago, said about 60 students from the first school will be on hand for the 5p.m. freshman game and the 6:30p.m. JV game. The games will be at Golden Valley High School’s Veterans Stadium.
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Before the start of the JV game, the school will honor the El Capitan alumni and football players who played during the three years in the early 1960s that the school existed, Bik said. About 15 of the original squad of football players are expected to be on hand Thursday.
“These two games should be the beginning of a new rivalry that first existed 50 years ago between El Capitan and Merced but will now include Golden Valley High School,” Bik said. “Three varsity football teams in the city of Merced. Wow! What symbolic community trophy will they compete for?”
El Capitan High now includes only freshmen and sophomores. Next year it will add a junior class and seniors a year later.