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Game to revive gridiron rivalries

Published: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:54 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 11:11 a.m. CDT

Former high school football players may have a chance to relive their former glory, or even renew an old rivalry, at least for one game. They can help their own schools at the same time.

If there is enough interest, Chris Hall, founder and owner of Gridiron Alumni, is hoping to stage a full-contact football game between high school graduates in this area, preferably in August. A portion of the money raised will go towards their schools or local charities, whichever the teams decide on.

Hall, 42, founded the company four years ago.

“At some point, you are just done (playing),” Hall, a husband and father of two, said. “But you don’t have to. If you’ve ever wished you could play football one more time, your wish has been granted.”

Hall travels the country with two 24-foot trailers packed full of football gear. Most games are scheduled in the spring and summer. His first year, he staged 16 games; he is hoping to put on 30 games this year. He is working to set up a game between two old rivals, Dundee Crown and Gilberts, in August. Since he’ll be in the area, he’s hoping to stage a similar game in DeKalb County at the same time.

Games are played according to high school rules, although some rules have been modified for safety reasons. The cost is $80 per player; insurance is up to each player.

Players must be 18 or older. Although he has had players in their 50s, Hall said the average age is 25 to 35. Since he’s emphasizing old school rivalries, 75 percent of players on a team must have graduated from the same school. A minimum of 30 players is needed to form a team.

Finding a coach and setting a practice schedule is entirely up to each team. The first team to raise enough players earns the right to host the game, if they can arrange it with their old school. He said 60 percent of first-time games have led to a second one at the same school.

Since forming Gridiron Alumni in 2010, Hall has raised more than $250,000 for schools and charities. On average, Hall said the games raise about $5,000 for local charities, although one game brought in more than $30,000.

For more information, to to www.gridironalumni.com or call Hall at 530-410-6396. Hall urges anyone who might be interested to sign up as soon as possible.

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