Dorsey’s Championship Season : An intense rivalry is settled on the field--with complete sportsmanship

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Dorsey High School beat Wilmington Banning 33-30 last Saturday to win the City 4-A Division football championship. But that victory means much more than athletic bragging rights. It is encouraging that the often intense rivalry between these schools was settled on the playing field--and the playing field alone.

Tensions were high before the game because Banning had refused to play Dorsey at its home field, Jackie Robinson Stadium in the Crenshaw district, during the regular season. Parents of Banning players cited fears of violence in the aftermath of a drive-by shooting near the stadium during the Dorsey-Crenshaw game and a subsequent gang-related shooting of a truant student just days before the Banning-Dorsey game was to be played.

Banning’s coach also questioned the attitudes of Dorsey players and their fans because many had rushed onto the field to challenge the officiating of last year’s semifinal match-up between the two prep powerhouses.


The coach said all Banning wanted was a neutral playing field. The teams finally got it Saturday at El Camino College in Torrance. All fans were searched with metal detectors. School police officers were prominent.

But to the schools’ credit, this was no grudge match. There were no fights, on or off the field. Players and fans made sure the contest was just a game--and nothing more.

Both teams also deserve congratulations for a close and exciting game, decided with just a minute to play. Above all else, the game was a triumph of good sportsmanship. There were no losers.