Palo Alto and Gunn will meet in a non-league football game Sept. 4 at Gunn, the first time the two have played since 2012.
Competitive disparity caused the series to be terminated. Palo Alto, traditionally a top program in the Central Coast Section, a state champion in 2010, won the 2012 game 48-0. But with the formerly struggling Gunn program on the upswing (8-2 last season) the decision was made that now would be a good time to resume the rivalry.
"The community aspect is really important,'' Palo Alto football coach and athletic director Nelson Gifford said. "These kids have known each other all their lives. We want the game to be as competitive as possible and for the kids to enjoy it.''
Gifford, who played at Palo Alto, recalled the Paly-Gunn games fondly as instances of heightened interest and attendance, emotion and intensity. But also as a positive experience, not a hate-filled relationship like some natural rivalries tend toward.
"It's weird using the word rival,'' Gifford said. "I want them to do well, to be great. I like Gunn to have success, for the district to have success.''
Gunn coach Jason Miller also characterized it as a friendly rivalry.
"We are going to integrate activities and community fun in order to become an exemplary friendly rivalry modeled for schools everywhere,'' Miller wrote via text.
"It's going to be good,'' Gifford said.
Palo Alto took Overfelt off the second week of its schedule in order to include Gunn.
Miller has arranged for the Titans to make a trip to Hawaii the following week to play Kalaheo in their third non-league game.