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Stadium to host high school football title game

Stadium to host high school football title game

NEW YORK -- The top high school football teams in New York City will be able to settle their championship title next week, facing off on the gridiron at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees and the Public Schools Athletic League have announced that the 2010 PSAL Championship Game will be played at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, with Abraham Lincoln High School and Fort Hamilton High School to kick off at 5 p.m. ET.

That meeting between the two Brooklyn powerhouses will be just the second football game played at the new Yankee Stadium, which hosted Notre Dame's 27-3 victory over Army on Nov. 20.

"The New York Yankees are proud supporters of the PSAL, and we are proud to work together to host the 2010 PSAL Varsity Championship here at Yankee Stadium," said Brian Smith, the Yankees' senior vice president of corporate and community relations.

"We're looking forward to this being one of the premier events to take place at Yankee Stadium. Hopefully this is something that takes place on an annual basis."

Former Yankee Lee Mazzilli, a 1973 graduate of Lincoln High, recalled having the opportunity to play at the old Yankee Stadium as an amateur. He urged the members of both teams to savor the experience.

"This is a great time to have you guys come to this stadium to play a football game. You guys have to really embrace this," Mazzilli said. "This is going to be one of your highlights of your career.

"For me, that was probably one of my biggest thrills, to go out and play center field at Yankee Stadium and look around and see what was there."

The title game is part of the Yankees' partnership with the PSAL, which announced Wednesday that it will also introduce new initiatives in conjunction with the Dec. 30 New Era Pinstripe Bowl.

In support of the PSAL, the Yankees have installed a new all-grass football field at Harry S. Truman High School in the Bronx, using the same type of grass sodded at Yankee Stadium.

Later this month, the Yankees will honor the city's best scholar athletes with an "MVP Dinner" at Yankee Stadium, including 55 students -- 11 from each borough.

The top graduating student-athlete from each borough will be designated a "borough captain" and recognized at halftime during the Pinstripe Bowl.

"The partnership that we have enjoyed with the Yankees, we certainly look forward to continuing that as the years go by," said Donald Douglas, the executive director of the PSAL. "This is a very historic event and we look forward to continuing to have the PSAL championship here, year in and year out."

The week of the bowl game will bring more activities, as the Yankees join with the Department of Parks and Recreation to host instructional clinics for local youth tackle football teams at Macombs Dam Park.

On the day of the Pinstripe Bowl, the Parks and Recreation Department will again join up with the Yankees to host a friendly "Battle of the Bands" between the marching bands of Abraham Lincoln and Fort Hamilton High Schools.

"The time and effort we dedicate to producing a championship team on the field, we dedicate just as much time and effort to being a champion in the community," Smith said of the Yankees. "We support various community initiatives that focus on the arts, education, recreation and so on, and we will continue to do that."

All tickets for the PSAL Championship will be distributed through the PSAL. Fans may request tickets by e-mailing Jennifer Moreno at jmoreno6@schools.nyc.gov.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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