Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1193619

Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 30, 2014

Demons prepare for alumni game

By Aaron Viner | Jun 05, 2014
Photo by: Aaron Viner David Friese, 1986 Washington high school graduate, goes through drills during an alumni football practice.

Despite the true start of football season coming in August, football fever has hit Washington a couple of months early.
As part of Washington’s 175th anniversary celebration, an alumni football game will be a popular focus for the community at 6 p.m. Saturday at Case Field.
Former students ranging from the Washington Class of 1984 to the Class of 2014 will be participating in the event and to sweeten the pot, they will be taking on an alumni group from rival Mt. Pleasant.
“Our two big rivals have always been Fairfield and Mt. Pleasant,” Chuck Henry said. “Through the ‘80s and ‘90s, (Mt. Pleasant) has always been one of the top teams in the area. It’s good we are playing them at home.”
The Washington team has been practicing since early April, on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings, and according to Henry, a former Washington football head coach, the team has really impressed him.
“We’ve got guys coming from Waterloo and North Liberty,” Henry said. “Some of these guys are coming along really well. They are in excellent shape, conditioning  has been good and they’ve worked hard. Nobody has complained, the camaraderie has been great and we’ve had good turnouts on Sundays.”
Henry coached the Demons from 1982 to 1992, then again from 2002 to 2006.
Even with the wide range of ages participating, attending one practice was enough to see that they have grown into a singular unit preparing for this game.
“Some of these guys weren’t even born when I played, but we’ve jelled as a team,” 1986 Washington graduate David Friese said. “That much practicing once or twice a week has made us into a team. Our coaching staff is taking it extremely seriously, so we take it extremely serious too.”
As to why Friese is participating in the event, he said it’s something he wanted to prove to himself.
“I wanted to put my money to where my mouth is,” Friese said. “I coached my son growing up, and I wanted to play football again.”
One key player for Mt. Pleasant will be former Iowa Hawkeye wide receiver and kick returner, Jordan Cotton.
Despite many of the players on the squad may have been out of football for some time, they are still plenty eager to get the victory on Saturday.
“The win is why we are here,” Friese said. “It’s why we look the way we look and why we are working as hard as we are working. We are here to win, period. The sport of football involves a lot of pain and soreness, and no one would do this unless they wanted to win.”
Kickoff for the alumni game is set for 6 p.m., and will be played rain or shine. If the weather is bad enough to postpone the game, it will be played at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

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