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Some of the best high school football teams in the state?

Check.

Military Humvees on display?

Check.

Retired Navy SEALs parachuting in at midfield delivering the game ball?

Check.

Mark Soto wanted one more selling point for the U-T San Diego Honor Bowl, five games Friday and Saturday at Oceanside High themed to recognize active military and veterans.

Then the light bulb inside Soto’s head lit up. Camp Pendleton, Oceanside High’s virtual next-door neighbor, fields 10 teams that play 11-man football in an organized fall league.

“This is a military veteran cause,” said Soto, the organizing group’s executive director. “Why not bring in full-contact military teams?”

So at 9 a.m. Saturday, two Camp Pendleton teams will tee it up — MASS-3 vs. 1st Radio Battalion. The teams are composed primarily of Marines. A few players serve in the Navy.

“We’re trained for combat, so to be out there on that gridiron, it’s combat all over again,” said Gunnery Sgt. Marvin Hill, coach of the 1st Radio Battalion. “The difference between us and NFL players is we do it for the love of the game rather than the paycheck.”

Now in its third year, the Honor Bowl lists two major goals: raise awareness about the needs of military vets; and raise money to purchase wheelchairs for military personnel injured in war.

The thought of playing a game that benefits fellow injured Marines moves the football players.

“We’re out here for our brothers and sisters who aren’t able to play,” said Stanley Pittman, a player/coach for Mass-3.

“As Marines, we look out for our brothers and sisters in arms,” said Hill. “Marines take care of Marines.”

Oceanside plays Gardena Serra on Friday in the feature game of this weekend’s U-T San Diego Honor Bowl.

Said Andrew Egan, a Pirates wide receiver whose father is a Marine, “For all they’ve done for us, giving us a chance to do what we love to do, to give back to the Marines, it’s an honor to play in this game.”

The Marines and Navy personnel who’ll play Saturday relish putting on pads, recalling glory of days gone by and “letting off some steam,” said Pittman.

But the players keep things in perspective. When games in their regular fall league are over, players from both teams walk to midfield and take one knee.

Said Pittman, “We pray for our brothers and sisters in harm’s way to be safe.”

Some of the best high school football teams in the state?

Check.

Military Humvees on display?

Check.

Retired Navy SEALs parachuting in at midfield delivering the game ball?

Check.

Mark Soto wanted one more selling point for the U-T San Diego Honor Bowl, five games Friday and Saturday at Oceanside High themed to recognize active military and veterans.

Then the light bulb inside Soto’s head lit up. Camp Pendleton, Oceanside High’s virtual next-door neighbor, fields 10 teams that play 11-man football in an organized fall league.

“This is a military veteran cause,” said Soto, the organizing group’s executive director. “Why not bring in full-contact military teams?”

So at 9 a.m. Saturday, two Camp Pendleton teams will tee it up — MASS-3 vs. 1st Radio Battalion. The teams are composed primarily of Marines. A few players serve in the Navy.

“We’re trained for combat, so to be out there on that gridiron, it’s combat all over again,” said Gunnery Sgt. Marvin Hill, coach of the 1st Radio Battalion. “The difference between us and NFL players is we do it for the love of the game rather than the paycheck.”

Now in its third year, the Honor Bowl lists two major goals: raise awareness about the needs of military vets; and raise money to purchase wheelchairs for military personnel injured in war.

The thought of playing a game that benefits fellow injured Marines moves the football players.

“We’re out here for our brothers and sisters who aren’t able to play,” said Stanley Pittman, a player/coach for Mass-3.

“As Marines, we look out for our brothers and sisters in arms,” said Hill. “Marines take care of Marines.”

Oceanside plays Gardena Serra on Friday in the feature game of this weekend’s U-T San Diego Honor Bowl.

Said Andrew Egan, a Pirates wide receiver whose father is a Marine, “For all they’ve done for us, giving us a chance to do what we love to do, to give back to the Marines, it’s an honor to play in this game.”

The Marines and Navy personnel who’ll play Saturday relish putting on pads, recalling glory of days gone by and “letting off some steam,” said Pittman.

But the players keep things in perspective. When games in their regular fall league are over, players from both teams walk to midfield and take one knee.

Said Pittman, “We pray for our brothers and sisters in harm’s way to be safe.”

Some of the best high school football teams in the state?

Check.

Military Humvees on display?

Check.

Retired Navy SEALs parachuting in at midfield delivering the game ball?

Check.

Mark Soto wanted one more selling point for the U-T San Diego Honor Bowl, five games Friday and Saturday at Oceanside High themed to recognize active military and veterans.

Then the light bulb inside Soto’s head lit up. Camp Pendleton, Oceanside High’s virtual next-door neighbor, fields 10 teams that play 11-man football in an organized fall league.

“This is a military veteran cause,” said Soto, the organizing group’s executive director. “Why not bring in full-contact military teams?”

So at 9 a.m. Saturday, two Camp Pendleton teams will tee it up — MASS-3 vs. 1st Radio Battalion. The teams are composed primarily of Marines. A few players serve in the Navy.

“We’re trained for combat, so to be out there on that gridiron, it’s combat all over again,” said Gunnery Sgt. Marvin Hill, coach of the 1st Radio Battalion. “The difference between us and NFL players is we do it for the love of the game rather than the paycheck.”

Now in its third year, the Honor Bowl lists two major goals: raise awareness about the needs of military vets; and raise money to purchase wheelchairs for military personnel injured in war.

The thought of playing a game that benefits fellow injured Marines moves the football players.

“We’re out here for our brothers and sisters who aren’t able to play,” said Stanley Pittman, a player/coach for Mass-3.

“As Marines, we look out for our brothers and sisters in arms,” said Hill. “Marines take care of Marines.”

Oceanside plays Gardena Serra on Friday in the feature game of this weekend’s U-T San Diego Honor Bowl.

Said Andrew Egan, a Pirates wide receiver whose father is a Marine, “For all they’ve done for us, giving us a chance to do what we love to do, to give back to the Marines, it’s an honor to play in this game.”

The Marines and Navy personnel who’ll play Saturday relish putting on pads, recalling glory of days gone by and “letting off some steam,” said Pittman.

But the players keep things in perspective. When games in their regular fall league are over, players from both teams walk to midfield and take one knee.

Said Pittman, “We pray for our brothers and sisters in harm’s way to be safe.”


The Marine Corps has a huge presence on and off the field at the Honor Bowl.

Some of the best high school football teams in the state?

Check.

Military Humvees on display?

Check.

Retired Navy SEALs parachuting in at midfield delivering the game ball?

Check.

Mark Soto wanted one more selling point for the U-T San Diego Honor Bowl, five games Friday and Saturday at Oceanside High themed to recognize active military and veterans.

Then the light bulb inside Soto’s head lit up. Camp Pendleton, Oceanside High’s virtual next-door neighbor, fields 10 teams that play 11-man football in an organized fall league.

“This is a military veteran cause,” said Soto, the organizing group’s executive director. “Why not bring in full-contact military teams?”

So at 9 a.m. Saturday, two Camp Pendleton teams will tee it up — MASS-3 vs. 1st Radio Battalion. The teams are composed primarily of Marines. A few players serve in the Navy.

“We’re trained for combat, so to be out there on that gridiron, it’s combat all over again,” said Gunnery Sgt. Marvin Hill, coach of the 1st Radio Battalion. “The difference between us and NFL players is we do it for the love of the game rather than the paycheck.”

Now in its third year, the Honor Bowl lists two major goals: raise awareness about the needs of military vets; and raise money to purchase wheelchairs for military personnel injured in war.

The thought of playing a game that benefits fellow injured Marines moves the football players.

“We’re out here for our brothers and sisters who aren’t able to play,” said Stanley Pittman, a player/coach for Mass-3.

“As Marines, we look out for our brothers and sisters in arms,” said Hill. “Marines take care of Marines.”

Oceanside plays Gardena Serra on Friday in the feature game of this weekend’s U-T San Diego Honor Bowl.

Said Andrew Egan, a Pirates wide receiver whose father is a Marine, “For all they’ve done for us, giving us a chance to do what we love to do, to give back to the Marines, it’s an honor to play in this game.”

The Marines and Navy personnel who’ll play Saturday relish putting on pads, recalling glory of days gone by and “letting off some steam,” said Pittman.

But the players keep things in perspective. When games in their regular fall league are over, players from both teams walk to midfield and take one knee.

Said Pittman, “We pray for our brothers and sisters in harm’s way to be safe.”

Some of the best high school football teams in the state?

Check.

Military Humvees on display?

Check.

Retired Navy SEALs parachuting in at midfield delivering the game ball?

Check.

Mark Soto wanted one more selling point to hype the Honor Bowl, five games Friday and Saturday at Oceanside High designed to recognize the active military and veterans.

Then the light bulb inside Soto’s head lit up. Camp Pendleton, virtually Oceanside High’s next-door neighbor, fields 10 teams that play 11-man football in an organized fall league.

“This is a military veteran cause,” said Soto, the event’s executive director. “Why not bring in full-contact military teams?”

So at 9 a.m. Saturday, two Camp Pendleton teams will tee it up, MASS-3 vs. the 1st Radio Battalion. The teams are comprised primarily of Marines. A few players serve in the Navy.

“We’re trained for combat, so to be out there on that gridiron, it’s combat all over again,” said Gunnery Sgt. Marvin Hill, coach of the 1st Radio Battalion. “The difference between us and NFL players is we do it for the love of the game rather than the paycheck.”

Now in its third year, this year’s Honor Bowl lists two major goals: raise awareness about the needs of military vets; and raise money to purchase wheelchairs for military personnel injured in war.

The thought of playing a game that benefits fellow injured Marines moves the football players.

“We’re out here for our brothers and sisters who aren’t able to play,” said Stanley Pittman, a player/coach for Mass-3.

“As Marines, we look out for our brothers and sisters in arms,” said Hill. “Marines take care of Marines. That’s the bottom line, hands down, no matter where you go.”

San Diego Section power Oceanside plays the Honor Bowl’s featured game. Ranked eighth in the state by Cal-High Sports, the Pirates face the state’s No. 4 team, Gardena Serra on Friday night at 8.

Arguably, no school is closer linked to the military than Oceanside, whose roster is filled with players whose parents serve or have served in the Marine Corps.

Said Andrew Egan, a Pirates wide receiver whose father’s a Marine, “For all they’ve done for us, giving us a chance to do what we love to do, to give back to the Marines, it’s an honor to play in this game.”

The Marines and Navy personnel who’ll play Saturday relish putting on pads, recalling glory of days gone by and “letting off some steam,” said Pittman.

But the players keep things in perspective. When games in their regular fall league are over, players from both teams walk to midfield and take one knee.

Said Pittman, “We pray for our brothers and sisters in harm’s way to be safe.”

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