There is a major divide that goes down Crenshaw Boulevard, with two powerhouse programs residing on both sides.
On the west side of Crenshaw, right off of Rodeo Road, is Dorsey High School, and on the east side of Crenshaw, right off of 52nd Street, is Crenshaw High School. Both schools have put numerous players into the college ranks and the NFL.
The two schools occupy a small section of Los Angeles, and it is impossible for them to avoid each other. Because of the proximity, the pride factor kicks in every year when they face-off, and bragging rights are up for grabs.
This is not a new matchup, as alumni from both schools participate in the rivalry on an annual basis.
“Those who are Cougars are Cougars for life, and those who are Dons are Dons for life,” said Doug Brown, who is currently an instructional specialist at Crenshaw, and is a former athletic director at Dorsey.
Brown knows this rivalry extremely well, and he has seen it start with students at Audubon Middle School, where he has also worked. Many of the players for both Crenshaw and Dorsey were classmates at Audubon.
“There were kids who knew that they were going to Dorsey, and there were kids who knew that they were going to go to Crenshaw, and they’re playing each other now,” Brown said. “They knew back then which school that they would go to.”
Many of the players competed on the same teams while playing for youth football programs at Baldwin Hills, Wilshire, and in the Snoop Dogg leagues.
The pride factor is so big that this one game can make or break the season for either team.
“Dorsey could win City, but if they lost against Crenshaw, it would be a bad year,” Brown said. “I’ve only been here at Crenshaw for two years, but I’m sure that it would be the same thing.”
The Coliseum League title typically comes down to this one game, as both teams generally sweep the other league opponents. A win on Friday night would most likely mean a league championship and a high seed in the City Section playoffs.
The excitement level is going to be extremely high at Rancho Cienega Park for the 7 p.m. kickoff. Crenshaw has dominated the series over the past seven years, but both teams look pretty evenly matched this season. They have both struggled against tough non-league opponents, but none of that matters as the records are thrown out of the window for this game.
This is the biggest high school football game in the Crenshaw District of the year, and it is one that should not be missed.