The rivalry between Garfield and Roosevelt started in 1925. Now a documentary tells its story

The East L.A. Classic between Garfield and Roosevelt already has its own movie: "The All-Americans"

The East L.A. Classic is one of the fiercest high school rivalries in the country.

Courtesy The All-Americans

In Boyle Heights, in East Los Angeles, Indiana Street divides students. Those who live in eastern Indiana go to Garfield High School. Those who live to the west, to the Roosevelt.

These two High Schools played this Friday on East L.A. Classic number 85, a match of football American that attracts so many fans that it can't be played in the usual stadiums of either school.

The Garfield Bulldogs they won clearly (25-0) for the tenth consecutive year at Roosevelt High Rough Riders before about 25 thousand spectators at the Weingart Stadium on the East Los Angeles College campus, where most of the games of this rivalry that began in 1925 have been played.

He documentary “The All-Americans” which opens in cinemas on November 8 and is produced, among others, by Becky G, tells from inside the life of these boys between 14 and 18 years, more than 60 in each team, many of them Latino, who for one day become sports stars.

“It was a little weird to have someone there behind one with a camera,” he says Lorenzo Hernandez, Garfield coach. "But a month we get used to it and it was as if they weren't there."

Hernandez, 44, was born and raised in Los Angeles, but his mother is from Culiacán, Sinaloa, and his father was from Michoacán. He has been working as a Bulldogs technical director for 18 years, but he had never lived for four months with a team that was shooting a movie.

"Each year the cameras arrive for the game and then disappear," he explains. "So the kids were very happy to be able to participate in something bigger."

A moment of the game between Garfield and Roosevelt shown in the documentary. / Photo: Courtesy "src ="
A moment of the game between Garfield and Roosevelt shown in the documentary. / Photo: Courtesy “The All-Americans”

“The All-Americans” focuses on four students who seek glory in the field of play, but at the same time have to deal with their personal situations in a primarily immigrant community.

“I liked the movie,” says Hernández hesitantly. “But they focused a lot on one of the students. We are an academic school distinguished by the state with a gold clasp. And this boy was one of the less than 1% of the students (with academic difficulties) we have. Last year we had 19 students accepted at UCLA. It's something you never hear. ”

“I don't want people to think that Garfield is pure football and that's it. We really want to study, ”says Hernández.

One of the players reflected in the documentary is Stevie williams, who is already playing in college at the University of Kansas Wesleyan and is doing “incredible things,” according to his former coach, who hopes he will be the first student out of Garfield to play in the NFL.


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