The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

April 4, 2014

Ardmore-Elkmont alumni game a week away

— If you played football at Ardmore or Elkmont, it’s time to toss the old pigskin around again.

An alumni football game featuring former Ardmore and Elkmont players is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11, at Ardmore High School’s football stadium.

Alumni Football USA helped organize the game, which is open to anyone who graduated from Ardmore or Elkmont.

“What they (Alumni Football USA) try to do is get a natural rivalry. In our case, it’s always been Ardmore,” said Elkmont graduate Coty Johns. “We had a lot of people attend that (West-Clements) game and I hope that we can do the same thing for Elkmont.”

Clements and West Limestone played an alumni game in October 2013, the first such game to take place between the Limestone County schools.

The winner of Friday’s game will play West Limestone, which beat Clements 36-8, at a later date.

“We started having people register about a week after that game,” said Johns. “We were the first to sign up and its been really strong since. We’ve got people from 1974-2011. We pretty much cover all generations.”

Johns said Elkmont has about 36 players signed to play in the game, which will be full contact with pads and helmets. Alumni Football USA games are as close to the games you see on Friday nights in the fall, except, of course, for players ages.

“I wanted to see the level of play,” said Johns about watching the West Limestone game.  “What kind of game it would be as far the hitting goes. I wanted to see it for my own eyes before I committed.”

After Johns signed up, dozens more followed, and not just football players. Friday’s game will feature bands and cheerleaders from both schools. Tickets can be purchased from anyone playing in the game through Sunday, at either school until the day of the game and at the gate.

Half the proceeds from presold tickets go toward the schools while tickets purchased at the gate go straight to Alumni Football USA. Those looking for tickets over the weekend can visit the Piggly Wiggly in Elkmont Saturday where Johns and fellow Elkmont graduate, Lesley Garris, will be on hand to sell tickets at a car show, beginning at 10 a.m.

“They texted me back in the summer and I actually thought it was a joke,” said Garris, a 1989 Elkmont graduate. “I did some research and saw that it was real and decided to play.”

Garris did more than sign up. The former quarterback contacted former Elkmont all-state players and recruited them to play. So far, recognizable names include 2007-08 all-state athlete David Solomon, 2006 all-state tight end Tim Woolridge, 2003 all-state linebacker Jacob Black and 1999 all-state quarterback Brandon Turner.

Johnny Stephens and Bob Whitt will coach the Elkmont team.

For more information, visit the “Elkmont vs. Ardmore Alumni Football Game” facebook pages.

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