SAN DIEGO (JTA) — Two West Coast Jewish high school football teams squared off in a game dubbed the Bagel Bowl.
For what most likely was a football first, two West Coast 11-player high school squads from Jewish schools, the San Diego Jewish Academy Lions in its third year of full contact and the Milken Community High School Wildcats the Jewish rookie on the block, faced off.
In a well-played game that drew 150 fans, the Wildcats led early 8-0, but experience prevailed with San Diego winning 25-8.
“I know on the West Coast this is a first. This is history making,” said Gail Sorloff, Milken’s athletic director.
Speaking of the school’s new football program, Sorloff added, “We hope to promote school spirit. This is a commuter school, and that’s hard to get."
According to Sorloff, Milken is hoping to attract the Jewish student who might otherwise be looking at a secular high school to play football.
Before the game began with a live Jewish Academy band playing "Hatikvah," Milken head coach Jerry Martin was nervous.
“We have only had a few practices with 11 players,” he said of his squad, which will play small parochial and private school teams. “The rest of the season we are playing eight-man teams."
Underscoring the experience gap between the two programs, as the first quarter began the game announcer declared that a former Lion player, Drew Farris, was slated to be the top long snapper on Saturday for the University of Florida Gators.
“What’s great about this game,” said parent Cheryl Davidson, whose son Jake plays outside linebacker for Milken, “is when you hear the announcer say, ‘Weinstein.’ ”
Two Florida Jewish high school squads already face off annually in a yearly game called the Kiddish Cup.