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Bell Game is here

Edison and Fountain Valley, separated by just four miles, renew storied rivalry Friday night.

November 03, 2010|By Mike Sciacca, michael.sciacca@latimes.com
  • Edison quarterback Chase Favreau (7) looks for a receiver during Friday's game against Newport Harbor at Huntington Beach High School.
Edison quarterback Chase Favreau (7) looks for a receiver… (KENT TREPTOW, Daily…)

In a week full of anticipation for schools that are just four miles apart, just two days remain before it's revealed Friday which team secures the coveted trophy for the next 365 days.

The Edison-Fountain Valley football game, known in familiar circles as, The Bell Game, is about many things: pride, bragging rights and hardware, to name a few. The prized hardware the teams battle for is The Bell, which goes to the winner of this annual showdown.

It's what both the Chargers (6-2, 3-0) and Barons (3-4-1, 1-2) are gunning for.

"Since I've been here, this has always been the game," said Fountain Valley Coach John Shipp, who will experience his seventh Bell Game as head coach Friday. "It's such a huge rivalry. People who may or may not have been to a game for either team this year will be out there for this one. The communities of both schools really get into this game. It's a huge event.

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"For the players, this is something that they'll never, ever, forget."

To accommodate the large crowd that annually flocks to the game — overflow, standing-room-only crowds were the norm in years past at Orange Coast College — the contest has been moved from OCC to Cerritos College in Norwalk.

Kickoff for the key Sunset League contest is 7 p.m.

"It's a bigger venue and better for everybody," Shipp said. "We'll be able to get more people in to watch the game."

Edison Coach Dave White has been part of this rivalry in several ways, from player to assistant coach to head coach. The game, he says, hasn't lost its luster throughout the years.

"It's been a big rivalry for 40-plus years," said White, now in his 25th Bell Game as head coach.

Shipp is the fourth Fountain Valley coach he has coached against in the game.

White said he first saw an Edison-Fountain Valley game in 1969. He was in eighth-grade and recalled watching an Edison team without any seniors upset a playoff-bound Fountain Valley squad.

White estimates he's only missed the Bell Game between 1975-78.

"It's hard to come up with a new way to describe it after 25 years, but this rivalry has maintained its passion all these years," he said. "It's the one game where students dress up and paint themselves in their school colors. The kids are very similar at both schools. Sometimes, the best team doesn't win in this game. It's a very emotional game. I've been a part of it in many ways and my two oldest boys have played in it."

Shipp and White said the teams will meet for an early-morning breakfast on game day Friday at Edison.

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