Two East County Chick-fil-A restaurant owners are taking seriously the Army vs. Navy college football game to be played this Saturday, Dec. 9. The annual game, which began in 1890, is considered one of the most traditional and enduring rivalries in college football.
Kyle Steck, operator of the Santee Chick-fil-A, 9418 Mission Gorge Road, Santee, and Rick Preciado, operator of the Grossmont Chick-fil-A, 8200 Fletcher Parkway, La Mesa, have agreed to a friendly wager.
Steck, a San Diego native who attended La Jolla Country Day School, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. His active-duty career included time spent on two ships before he retired as a lieutenant in 2011.
Preciado, born in the Panama Canal Zone while his father was in the U.S. Army, went on to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Perciado served on active duty for five years, including spending time in South Korea, and retired as a captain. The 6-foot-3 Preciado actually played for one season for the Black Knights as a walk-on freshman punter in1985. Navy won 17-7 that year.
In this week’s Steck vs. Preciado wager, the losing owner will visit the winning team’s restaurant the following week and perform a 21-pushup salute in the dining area. “We figured that 21 pushups would be better than a 21-gun salute,” quipped Preciado.
In addition, the losing owner will sing the winning team’s branch song, either “Anchors Aweigh” or “The Army Goes Rolling Along,” while wearing logo apparel of the winning side.
“This friendly wager will be a lot of fun, especially for the team members of both restaurants,” said Steck.
Saturday’s game, #118 in the series, will be played at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. The experts are saying the two teams are evenly matched. The Cadets’ (8-3) flexbone offense is led by quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw, who scored the winning touchdown in last year’s Army-Navy game. The Midshipmen (6-5) opened the season strong but have dropped five of their past six. Their offensive system is similar to their rivals with an option scheme that relies on quarterback Zach Abey.
In 2016, Army finally put 14 years of futility behind them when they defeated Navy, but the Black Knights has not won consecutive games in this rivalry since rattling off five consecutive victories between 1992 and 1996. Since then, Navy has won 17 of the 20 matchups.
Army’s uniforms, designed by Nike, will honor the legacy of the 10th Mountain Division, called the “Pando Commandos,” America’s alpine specialists since 1943. Navy’s blue-color Under Armour uniforms will pay tribute to the iconic Blue Angels flight team.
The 12 Chick-fil-A restaurants in San Diego County are located in Chula Vista, Encinitas, Oceanside, San Marcos, La Mesa, Santee, Escondido and in San Diego on Sports Arena Blvd., Camino Ruiz in Mira Mesa, Carmel Mountain Road in Carmel Mountain Ranch, Camino del Sur in 4S Ranch and Scranton Road in Sorrento Valley. For addresses and directions, visit www.cfasandiego.com.