Saturday at Kahoks Stadium, former football players from Collinsville and Granite City high schools will have the opportunity to strap on shoulder pads, put on helmets and relive past glory while creating new memories when they compete against each other at the Granite City-Collinsville Alumni Football Game at Collinsville High School.
The game is at 6 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10 and are available by calling coach Rick Reinhart at 618-977-9169 and at Redmon Insurance in Collinsville. Tickets will also be available at the gate.
“The response we’ve gotten has been tremendous. Right now we’ve got about 40 guys who are going to play. We’ve got a little website set up, and we’re trying to get some of the former standouts back to play. There are a number of great football players who are still in the area, or are close enough to where they can come back, who are really excited about playing,” Reinhart said.
Reinhart believes as many as 2,000 people will show up to watch the game, which comes after Granite City announced it was leaving the Southwestern Conference and a request from Collinsville to leave the conference for football. The players range in age from recent high school graduates to those in their early 50s.
The game will feature 8 minute quarters and use a running clock for players who are 40 and older.
“Hopefully we can line them up with the guys who are close to their own ages,” Reinhart said. “With all the horror stories you hear about concussions, we think its nice that we’ll be able to show guys who are in their 20s, 30s and 40s, who played football, who are in good health, have good lives and families and are successful.”
Reinhart said the goal for the event is to have fun.
“We just want this to be a total football celebration. We’re going to have a pep rally on Friday and a walk-though like they did in high school, and after we’re going to go to the Huddle Restaurant. The players can only drink water though.”
Reinhart said players have been working out on Sunday afternoons for several weeks and will have gone through two or three practice sessions leading up to the game. As to the Kahoks opponents, Reinhart has no clue what the Warriors will bring to the table.
“They have gone into seclusion. They aren’t saying anything, and we have no idea what to expect. It’s going to be basic football for us,” Reinhart said.
Following what Reinhart called the “Old Bowl” for players older than 40 to start the night, the “young guns” will take the field. At halftime, there will be a touch game with Collinsville youth leagues competing and being coached by current college players.
The event also features several contests, and all proceeds will go toward the purchase of new jerseys for the Collinsville football program.