The longest running high school football rivalry game in the desert will be played for the 58th time by Indio and Coachella Valley this Friday with all eyes on one prize, the bell.
"It’s bragging rights for a whole year," says former CVHS player and athletic director Richard Ramirez. "Well it’s better than a plaque on a wall. This bell can be heard, it can be heard throughout the entire year. Because you’ll take it through your hallway on campus ringing it and ringing it reminding them what’s happening."
"You know you’ve got cousins playing against cousins and friends of the family and it’s just a great rivalry," says Paul Thompson, the former Indio athletic director. A tradition started in 1960 but lost in the 1970s when the bell went missing.
"It got lost. You know, it’s supposedly buried in the desert. So I’m wondering whatever. So I found a company in Texas that made a bell and so I bought the bell and in ’93 we re-created the tradition by introducing the bell to CV and Indio football games," he says.
And now a new tradition is beginning this year, the first annual CV-Indio football alumni reunion. "We’re bringing two schools together that have a history of rivalry and we’re coming together. The setting is going to build family, community, raise some money for scholarships and hopefully have a good time out here," says Dave Ison, the CV-Indio Football Alumni Event Chairman.
"If we can help these kids to move on from this level,from a high school level, and succesfully, that’s basically the aim," say Mike Shmorhun, a former CVHS player from 1961-1964.