Missouri's Brookfield vs. Marceline Named America's Best High School Football Rivalry In USA TODAY High School Sports Search --Winning rivalry garners nearly 1.8 million votes in week-long national round; schools to split $10,000 grand prize --

MCLEAN, Va., Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- USA TODAY High School Sports today announced that the Brookfield vs. Marceline Bell Game of Missouri has been named the best high school football rivalry in the country, claiming victory in a month-long competition pitting 153 rivalries—three from each state and the District of Columbia —against one another in three total rounds of online fan voting.

The Bell Game in Missouri— a face-off of small towns Brookfield and Marceline that have a combined population of 6,500—managed to garner 1,761,259 votes during the week-long national round, edging out three other regional rivalries: Arizona's Bisbee vs. Douglas with 948,831 votes in the West, Vermont's St. Johnsbury Academy vs. Lyndon Institute with 656,130 votes in the North and Alabama's T.R. Miller vs. W.S. Neal with 223,661 votes in the South.

As winners of the USA TODAY High School Sports best rivalries search, Brookfield and Marceline will receive $10,000 ($5,000 to each school) in athletic department funding, as well as national coverage of its annual game in USA TODAY Sports in 2013 and a specially-designed trophy to be held by the winners each year going forward.

The USA TODAY High School Sports search for the best high school football rivalry in the country, as determined by high school football fans, began on Nov. 19. After two weeks of voting for the best rivalry in each state and Washington, D.C., the 51 winners began competing Dec. 5 in a regional round to become one of four rivalries to advance to the national competition.

The USA TODAY Sports Media Group encompasses all sports initiatives across USA TODAY Sports and Gannett's more than 100 well-known local media brands. It also includes the sports photography service USA TODAY Sports Images, USA TODAY High School Sports and the hundreds of sites within USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties such as thebiglead.com and mixed martial arts site MMAjunkie.com, among others.  USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121205/DC24496LOGO)

SOURCE USA TODAY Sports Media Group



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