SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors from guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) participated Sept. 20 in the opening ceremony football game with Princeton University's Tigers taking on the University of San Diego's (USD) Toreros.
Before kickoff, the Princeton Honor Guard, led by Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Daniel Dimayuga, paraded the American flag while the Princeton University band played the national anthem.
With ties to both teams, it was fitting that the ship and crew be recognized for their military service during the game.
"It was a nice way, and new way, that we got involved with the San Diego community," said Dimayuga. "I am proud to be from a ship with ties to two great schools."
The Princeton University Club of San Diego and the USD Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) worked to get the ship involved. Capt. Chuck Good, commander, USS Princeton, was one of the first to encourage Princeton's involvement with the game.
"We have several USD NROTC grads on board, and I love our homeport of San Diego," Good explained. "But we are also the Princeton Tigers, named in honor of the battle in Princeton, New Jersey."
Midshipman 3rd Class Charlie Berger, USD Class of 2017, helped the honor guard to set up on campus.
"It was great to have a ship, homeported here, reach out and want to get involved," said Berger. "The connection with both universities playing in the game made this the perfect opportunity."
More than 60 Princeton Sailors attended the game, including Lt. Cmdr. Nick Hoffman, Princeton's chief engineer and former University of San Diego running back.
"My whole family is dressed to cheer on the Toreros," exclaimed Hoffman. "I told [Capt. Good] we couldn't cheer on Princeton [University] today, although we will see what he says on Monday."
USS Princeton is the sixth Navy ship to share a name with the university. The flag of the 'fifth Princeton,' the aircraft carrier USS Princeton (CV 37), hangs in the school's library, while the ship shares the Tiger as her mascot.