A tradition will be born Friday night when the Royal Oak Ravens take on the Berkley Bears during the "Fight Against Childhood Cancer" game: The winner will take home a quirky new trophy dubbed "The Curb."
The prestigious chunk of cement will serve as the spoils when the squads reignite their cross-Woodward Avenue rivalry during the charity game.
Royal Oak High School Athletic Coordinator Pam Moore, with the help of the Royal Oak Department of Public Service, secured the 30-pound piece of Woodward Avenue curb to serve as a trophy for the two teams, Ravens' Head Coach Ryan Irish said.
"We wanted to create a rivalry where we can compete for something, regardless of how many games we won during the season," Irish said. " 'The Curb' will be painted with the year and winning team's name and will travel back and forth across Woodward with the winning team."
Friday will be the first time Royal Oak and Berkley have played each other since 2005, Berkley High School football coach Jeff Burnside said. The game also will be the first time the Bears have taken on the consolidated Royal Oak squad since George A. Dondero High School and Clarence M. Kimball High School merged to form Royal Oak High School in 2006.
"It was a pretty decent little rivalry back in the day," Burnside said. "... (Royal Oak's) record is not indicative of how good they are. They're a very well-coached group of kids."
Berkley's overall record as of Wednesday was 4-4 and Royal Oak's was 1-7, according to the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
Ahead of the matchup, which organizers have dubbed the "Fight Against Childhood Cancer game," the players are raising money for Children’s Miracle Network at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak and the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor.
"We can be rivals and we can dislike each other from 7 to 9:30," Burnside said. "But, we can come together as two communities to do some good for kids in need before and after the game."
Irish said the 'The Curb' will be presented in a ceremony at the end of Friday's game after presentations are made to the charities.
"At the end of the day, we are fighting for something bigger than ourselves," Irish said. "We are fighting for the community."
If you go
- When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19
- Where:Royal Oak High School, 1500 Lexington Blvd., Royal Oak
- Cost: $5
- Why go: Root on your team and support a good cause!
Patch is getting in on the action! We're asking our readers to upload pictures of their school spirit and colors through Sunday night. Patch will donate $200 toward children's cancer care in the name of whichever school has the most uploads by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21. As an added incentive, the losing editor agrees to eat humble pie and use a photo from the winning school as their Patch Facebook banner on Monday, Oct. 22!