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Yankee Stadium to host PSAL football championship

Uprights are installed next to the New York

Uprights are installed next to the New York Yankees logo on the field at Yankee Stadium which has been converted for Saturday's scheduled NCAA college football game between Notre Dame and Army. (Nov. 17, 2010) Credit: AP

A championship will be decided at Yankee Stadium this year.

The PSAL championship football game, which will pit No. 1 Abraham Lincoln High School against No. 2 Fort Hamilton High School, will have a pinstripe theme this season, as both Brooklyn teams will vie for the title on Dec. 7 at Yankee Stadium. Kickoff is at 5 p.m.

It's the first high school game to be played at the venue, and the second football game after Notre Dames' 27-3 win over Army on Nov. 20.

"There's been a buzz in the hallways," said Fort Hamilton coach Daniel Perez at a morning press conference at Yankee Stadium. "The other day, I got swarmed with kids saying 'congratulations coach,' and 'take it all the way.' "

The event is part of Yankee Stadium's Pinstripe Bowl festivities, which will culminate on Dec. 30 with a nationally-televised matchup between a team from the Big East and one from the Big 12.

Brian Smith, senior vice president of corporate and community relations for the Yankees, said there was hope that future PSAL football championship games would be played at the Stadium. "We don't see any problem with that in the near future," he said.

And, while those assembled, like Lincoln alum Lee Mazzilli, told the kids to "enjoy this, embrace this ... this is one of the highlights of your career," at least one player was single-minded in his approach.

"This is a great honor," said Ishaq Williams, the Lincoln defensive end and 29th-ranked football prospect in the nation, according to ESPN-Rise. "I want to come out and win a championship. [Any pressure] is just the pressure of the championship game. The venue doesn't matter."

Williams leads a team that was 1-8 in 2008, had no field to play on and, when things were turning around, lost a teammate over the summer.

"It's been a long, hard road," said coach Shawn O'Connor. "For awhile, it was like the Cyclone at Coney Island ... but they hung in there, they persevered."

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