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Angel City game features black colleges

September 27, 2008|Jim Peltz | Times Staff Writer

Prairie View A&M takes on Morehouse College today at the Coliseum in the Farmers Angel City Classic, an annual matchup of football teams from traditionally black colleges.

Prairie View, a Prairie View, Texas, college founded in 1876, returns to Southern California after its Panthers defeated North Carolina A&T, 22-7, in last year's game.

Morehouse, a liberal arts school in Atlanta, was invited to challenge Prairie View this year.

But the Angel City Classic -- kickoff is at 2 p.m. -- is more than a football game. It's a daylong event with a goal of creating educational and cultural opportunities for minority youths, especially among African American males.

The festivities include a concert in tribute to the late Isaac Hayes, a step show demonstration, a college and career expo and the celebrated halftime battle between the schools' marching bands.

The Classic, which with its sponsors pays the teams' transportation and lodging for the trip to Los Angeles, is an opportunity for the schools to market themselves to a broader audience of prospective students and parents, said Classic spokesman Samuel Williams.

"It's a way to showcase the schools, and the kids on the West Coast get exposed to them," he said.

"Also, one of the biggest traditions in black college football is the halftime battle of the bands," Williams added. "That's a tradition the West Coast kids don't get to see."

Prairie View's football team, led by quarterback Mark Spivey, is off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 1964. Its Southern California players include offensive lineman Jermaine Bluford.

Morehouse's team, the Maroon Tigers, has a 3-1 record and the squad includes running back Sinclair Ridley-Thomas, son of state Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas of Los Angeles. Other Morehouse players with Southern California ties include Christian Green and Anthony Haynes on offense, and Troy Shine, Tristan Taylor, Jamal James and Eric Archer on defense.

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james.peltz@latimes.com

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Schedule

Today's Angel City Classic events:

9 a.m. -- Gates open; cultural exposition opens.

9:30 a.m. -- High school band clinic.

10 a.m. -- Youth football games begin.

11 a.m. -- Greek Step Show (Gate 33).

Noon -- High school band showcase (Crenshaw, Inglewood, Long Beach Jordan, Dominguez high schools).

2 p.m. -- Angel City Classic football game.

Tickets can be purchased at the Coliseum box office or at ticketmaster.com or inglewoodtickets.com.

Prices: General admission $25; reserved $45; students $10; children $1 (with donation of two canned goods).

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Los Angeles Times

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