Friday night marks the highlight of Menifee’s high school athletics calendar: The third annual Menifee city championship football game between crosstown rivals Paloma Valley and Heritage.
The event, which will be held at Heritage High School’s Marion Ashley Stadium, is special not only because two high-scoring 6-1 teams are playing each other. It has special significance because of a pregame ceremony that will honor the memory of 2011 Heritage High graduate and former Patriots football star Donovan Adams, who was killed in an auto accident last June.
The special ceremony will recognize Adams’ contribution to the Patriot family. His No. 2 jersey will be retired in his honor. Adams was well known throughout the community for his passion for the game and his skills on the football field.
"He was the football team," said his close friend, Andrea Cardenas. "There will never be anyone like Donovan Adams.
"I can't even recall a moment when I saw him without a smile. He had the presence that just made everything around him so happy and he was such a beautiful person. I know he's in a better place, but it's just so painful. He will be dearly missed but never forgotten. He will live in our hearts and memories."
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., but because a huge turnout is expected for the event, gates will open at 5 p.m. Tickets are available for presale at Heritage High on Thursday and Friday from 1-3 p.m. for $7. Heritage students with an ASB card will be admitted free, and Paloma Valley students with an ASB Card are admitted for $5. Tickets for children ages 2-12 are $5.
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Friday’s game is deemed the "PINK OUT game." Attendees are encouraged to wear pink to show their support.