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Morning Brief: An East LA Football Rivalry, The Ironman Race, And Chocolate

ELA classic HEADER 02.png
The East L.A. Classic football game between rival teams from Roosevelt High (left) and Garfield High (right) is back this year after being canceled in 2020, due to the pandemic, for the first time in decades.
(Alborz Kamalizad
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Oct. 28.

We didn’t quite get the return to normalcy we were hoping for this summer, but in East L.A., two schools are getting back to to a decades-old tradition on Friday.

After canceling their game last year for the first time since World War II, Roosevelt High School and Garfield High School will meet on the football field to resume a rivalry known as the East L.A. Classic. 

Speaking to members of the community, my colleague Leslie Berestein Rojas heard stories of the devastation the coronavirus pandemic wreaked on families and residents since March of 2020. Both teams lost beloved coaches, mentors and parents.

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Those losses included former Garfield player Danny “Tank” Vargas, a 2011 graduate who died from COVID-19 in January at age 28, and retired former Roosevelt assistant coach Richard “Dickie” Guillen, who also succumbed to COVID-19 in January.

“Our community of East Los Angeles, it was just decimated, decimated,” said Lorenzo Hernandez, Garfield’s head coach. “It was horrible. It just became phone call after phone call, having to deal with people suffering.”

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Returning to the field won’t heal all the hurt, but it will be a step forward and a welcome return to celebrations.

“It’s going to say that we are back,” said Kimberly Flores-Zavaleta, a senior and wide receiver on the Garfield team, and one of two girls on the squad. “Our community was impacted really hard — both communities — and it just shows that we are resilient. That we are, you know, fighting through it.”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • The former Long Beach school safety officer who shot and killed Manuela "Mona" Rodriguez has been indicted for murder. 
  • L.A. city officials announced a universal basic income pilot program.
  • There are new questions about whether or not the gun that killed Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was inspected carefully on the set of "Rust."
  • Nearly all of the people arrested by a Beverly Hills Police Department unit assigned to Rodeo Drive during a two-month period last year were Black.
  • Children ages 5 to 11 could become eligible for vaccinations as soon as next week, and California health officials are ready.
  • After the bomb cyclone derailed her plans to do her 15th Ironman race, Erika Lilley came up with an alternative: she did it indoors, in a tiny gym pool, spin bike and treadmill.

Before You Go ... Chocolate Always Wins

An array of candy is spread out on a table decorated with Halloween decor. Candy includes Crunch, Pocky, Reese's, KitKats and Oreos, as well as pretzels and marshmallows.
Assorted Halloween candy.
(Branden Skeli/Unsplash)

With the holiday right around the corner, we revisited our 2019 poll on the best Halloween candy, and discovered that some things never change: Chocolate always wins, candy corn is polarizing and coconut is controversial. Read more delicious facts here.

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