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Football and family: Indio high school grad Billy Meraz details Army-Navy rivalry ahead of 122nd game

This is the only game where the guys playing in the game would die for the millions watching the game - how cool is that?

"Yep, exactly. And that's very true. That's the quote that comes to my mind, too. The people on the field playing in the game game, all of them would die for those watching the game, so it's just remarkable in that regard," said Billy Meraz.

Billy Meraz, former quarterback at Navy, playing catch in his backyard in La Quinta

Billy Meraz, a La Quinta native and Indio high school graduate has had the special privilege of playing in the Army-Navy game.

"There's the 2004 game. There you see President Bush there. And then there's me taking some snaps." said Meraz. "The first word that comes to mind is brotherhood. Everyone who played in that game shares this camaraderie with another. We all know during that game we're trying to kill each other but after the game we're essentially family," said Meraz.

Meraz attended the United States Naval Academy from 2001-2005

And it's clear that the family theme has stayed with him.

Meraz is a father of three, with children who absolutely adore dad, and he's also a loyal husband to his high school sweetheart, who says that Army-Navy game is a must-see event.

"I went to every Army-Navy game while he was there. Fun game, family environment. We're still friends with all the guys on the team and their wives and we get together once a year at a game," said Angel Meraz.

Angel Meraz, wife of Billy, and their daughter

That's just one of many football games the Meraz family goes to each year, especially now.


"I got a trophy in my room for winning first place in our division, winning number one," said Luke Meraz.

"And of course we're running the Navy offense right. I got him riding the fullback and trying to do some misdirection and stuff like that," said Meraz.

Well, I guess you can take the guy out of the Navy but you can't take the Navy out of the guy.

And maybe that's not a bad thing - maybe the world needs more Meraz - unless you're a fan of the Army Black Knights.

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Blake Arthur

Sports Director Blake Arthur joined the KESQ/CBS Local 2 team in August of 2015. Learn more about Blake here.

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