Central & Memorial kickoff season with Battle for the Mangy Lion

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It's an old traveling trophy that isn't very easy to move. It isn't exactly the prettiest thing to look at either.

But there's nothing Central and Memorial want to display front in center in their high school more.

It's the Mangy Lion.

"It's about tradition, pride and being a Blue Blazer," Central senior wide receiver Tre Taylor says.

The Mangy Lion goes to the winner of the annual football battle between the two Elkhart city schools.

"The Mangy Lion is so important just from the aspect that the kids in both schools want to have that lion in their building," Central coach Levon Johnson says. "It's a sense of pride and accomplishment. It's the biggest sporting event in Elkhart Country across the year."

The Mangy Lion is currently being displayed at Central High School. The Blazers crushed the Chargers in the Battle for the Mangy Lion last year 51-3. Memorial rebounded in sectionals to make it a much closer affair but still lost 17-13.

The rivalry game kicks off each high school football season.

"It's a great start for our kids because you can't help but be fired up to play your arch rival in the first game," Memorial head coach Bill Roggeman says. "It's a great measuring stick and bragging rights for the city."

This year, the Battle for the Mangy Lion will take place at Rice Field and is set for a 7pm kickoff this Friday. As always, it's our Martin's Spotlight Game of the Week.

NewsCenter 16 will be live from Central H.S. Friday night to preview the big game and then you can catch all the highlights on Friday Night Football Friday at 11pm on WNDU.

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