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USC faces Oregon State on Saturday, but Friday's Mater Dei-Servite matchup has Trojans pumped as well

There are seven players on the USC roster with strong ties to the schools, and loyalties don't fade. Servite's long losing streak in the rivalry raises the stakes and heightens the teasing.

October 22, 2009|Eric Sondheimer

USC Coach Pete Carroll might want to double the bed-check Friday night for his players who happen to be graduates of Santa Ana Mater Dei or Anaheim Servite high schools. He needs to make sure they don't sneak out from the team hotel for a couple of hours to watch the Mater Dei-Servite football game at Santa Ana Stadium.

Sure, their minds are focused on Saturday's game against Oregon State at the Coliseum, but their hearts are with their alma maters -- and there are bragging rights at stake, considering Servite has not beaten Mater Dei since 1988 and is 0-19-1 over the last 20 seasons.

There are seven players on USC's roster with strong ties to the two high schools, including freshman quarterback Matt Barkley, a Mater Dei graduate who has been having fun teasing the former Servite players, including linebacker Chris Galippo and fullback D.J. Shoemate.

Said Shoemate: "It's a little fun trash-talking back and forth. It's a healthy competition because you've got that 20 years under our belt. We've just got to go out and execute like we've been doing."

Servite comes into the game ranked No. 5 in the Southland with a 5-1 record. Mater Dei is 3-3. Sympathy has to rest with the Servite graduates who haven't experienced victory over their Catholic school rivals since Ronald Reagan was president.

"I think every year it's either next year or this is our year," said offensive lineman Matt Kalil, a Servite graduate. "It's going to be a great game like it always is."

Kalil's offensive line teammate, Khaled Holmes, a Mater Dei grad, said: "Got to get to 21 years. And if we get to 21, you've got to hold it over them somehow. Not that 20 isn't good enough."


Times staff writer Gary Klein contributed to this report.

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