The oldest rivalry in Long Beach kicks off for the 87th time Friday night at Wilson at 7 p.m.
As for this year’s contest, the game features a pair of teams still settling into their offensive identities. Both teams started slow but have come on strong in recent weeks–both won their Moore League openers by wide margins.
“They’re very talented and disciplined,” said Poly coach Stephen Barbee. “Their wide receiver (Zecheriah) Dolphin is a special player. It’s going to be a tough game where we are going to need to be disciplined and execute our game plan.”
Fans should expect Poly to employ more of the run-heavy approach that helped them pull away from Millikan in the second half last week.
For Wilson, it’s a chance to measure themselves against a Division 1 opponent.
“We’re excited to line up this week in another rivalry week between these two historic teams,” said Wilson coach Mark Ziegenhagen. “We want to compete against one of the area’s top teams to see where we stack up as we prepare for a playoff run.”
The key will likely be how Wilson can contain Poly’s aggressive defensive line and front seven–if the Bruins can get on the scoreboard early and put pressure on Poly’s offense, they could find themselves in control.
The Bruins will also hold a celebration of their CIF and State champions at halftime, and will hold a brief Hall of Fame ceremony.
It’s Rivalry Week in Long Beach, with local teams having potential to write new chapters amid decades of history with cross-town foes. Long Beach Poly will play Wilson, and Millikan takes on Lakewood. For breakdowns of Friday night’s matchups, visit the562.org for previews. Here, we break down the history of these longtime grudge matches.