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Rose Bowl Institute Honors Pasadena High School and John Muir High School Students for Sportsmanship at Turkey Tussle

Published on Friday, November 10, 2023 | 5:46 am

The Rose Bowl Institute recently awarded its third Rose Bowl Sportsmanship Initiative (ROSI) awards during the annual Turkey Tussle last month. 

The Turkey Tussle, a local Pasadena high school football tradition, features a rivalry game between Pasadena High School and John Muir High School.

This year’s ROSI award went to Deon Mejia from Pasadena High School and  Brandon Valencia from John Muir High School. A committee affiliated with the Institute selected the awardees for their exemplary sportsmanship and dedication to the game while demonstrating respect for others.

Mejia and Valencia each received a Certificate of Sportsmanship acknowledging their display of the values of sportsmanship during the Turkey Tussle at the Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl Institute said their efforts contribute to the local community, as well as reach audiences on a local, national, and international scale.

“For over 75 years, we have seen student athletes from John Muir and Pasadena High Schools leave it all on the field at the Rose Bowl Stadium during the annual Turkey Tussle,” Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo said. “Thank you to the Rose Bowl Institute for reminding us of the importance of sportsmanship to the game of football at the high school level.” 

The values of sportsmanship, as promoted by this award, include an appreciation for the game, commitment to the team, respect for others (including opponents and referees), adherence to the rules, and personal integrity. 

“The annual Turkey Tussle has been a longstanding Rose Bowl tradition and one we take pride in hosting for our local community,” Jens Weiden, Rose Bowl CEO and General Manager, said. “The opportunity to combine the Institute’s mission and the Legacy Foundation’s enhancement of educational opportunities makes it a unique and special pairing.” 

The selection committee included Councilmember Justin Jones, Rose Bowl Advisory Board Member Dr. Jen Welter, and incoming Rose Bowl Institute President, James Washington. 

“We are grateful to the staff at the Rose Bowl Institute for providing such an impactful and well-deserved sportsmanship award to an important local community staple at the Rose Bowl Stadium,” Dedan Brozino, the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation’s Chief Development Officer, said.  “It’s important that the Institute continues to champion sportsmanship throughout its programming, and continuing to influence our own Pasadena community first is so important.

The Rose Bowl Institute’s mission centers on promoting sportsmanship and leveraging the unifying power of sports. With its three core values – sportsmanship, leadership, and citizenship – the Institute aims to continue this tradition by recognizing sportsmanship in future Turkey Tussle games.

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