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Minooka alumni sets date for football game

Published: Monday, July 1, 2013 5:43 p.m. CDT

Nov. 29 has been approved as the date of a planned exhibition football game between alumni of Minooka and Morris high schools, which will be held at Minooka.

The Minooka faction continues to seek potential players, as well alums to participate in band, choir, cheerleading, poms and color guard at the game. Around 30 players have already signed up, and eight volunteers are coordinating the effort. The Minooka group is also seeking sponsorship and volunteers to work at the game.

On the Morris side, much more work remains to be done if a team is to be fielded. Many of the organizational duties have fallen on David Valdivia, a 2000 graduate of Morris who is the school’s head boys soccer coach. He has gotten help in organizing from Stephanie Benson but admits that he needs more.

“They (the Minooka group) seem to be doing very well. On our side, it’s very surprising that we’re not. I thought our (alumni) would be more supportive,” Valdivia said.

“I really am looking for somebody to help. I’ve Facebooked looking for it. It seems like nobody is taking it serious, or they can’t because they have other priorities.”

Before too much longer, Valdivia says, he hopes to determine whether or not Morris will even have enough players to field a team. If not, he hopes to let the Minooka organizers know so they can find another opponent.

Marsha Williams, one of the Minooka organizers, says a game will be played even if Morris fails to field a team. If necessary, Minooka will split its squad into two.

Williams has helped organize a number of meetings and worked with Minooka Community High School administrators to get approval for the game and the date. Many details have been worked out, but the need for participants remains.

“We still need football players. We’re at around 30 guys and we want 45 or 50, so we need to get 15 or 20 more. One thing with football is that they have to have had at least their 10-year reunion. They have to be 28 or older. I know a lot of the guys are 30 to 40. The oldest guy is in his 50. So for safety reasons, we want them to play against guys more their age,” Williams said.

“We’re telling people, ‘If you have an instrument, come to the game.’ We’re in desperate need for band members. Hopefully as word gets out that we’re officially going to do this, we’ll get some interest.”

Alumni interested in participating can visit minookaalumnigame.webs.com or morrisalumnifootball.webs.com for more information. Facebook groups have also been created for both Minooka alumni football and Morris alumni football.

Tickets are already on sale for the game and are $3 or $10 for four. They will be $5 at the door. Children under 5, seniors, current students and military personnel with ID will be admitted free. Email minookaalumni@gmail.com or mail a check to 1412 Levato Lane, Minooka, IL 60447 to purchase tickets.

The Minooka organizers will also host a “flashback prom” fundraiser Sept. 28 from 6-10 p.m. at Dinolfo’s Banquets in Mokena. Tickets are $60 per person or $120 per couple.

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