GHS Alumni hit the gridiron to relive their glory days

GHS alumni sports




 James Wilson
Sports Reporter

       Alumni of Greenville High School returned to the football field Saturday, Nov. 4 to relive their glory days and play some ball.

       The community showed its full support for the players. More than 300 spectators showed up to watch the 43 alumni play.

       Several parents of recently graduated players were present, cheering their children on. Children of older players were likewise present to cheer their parents on.

       Players from several graduating classes formed two teams; the white team and the black team. Both were comprised almost entirely of old Greenville High students. Four players were from out of the area, but were affiliated with the high school in one way or another.

       Amidst wheezing and complaints of sore joints, the players raged on and finished a full four-quarter game. The players were fully suited and the play was full contact.

       Alumni Football USA held the game as a fundraiser for Greenville High School. Alumni Football USA is a company out of Chico that puts together games to raise money for schools in need.

       Greenville High School fits the bill to a tee. Only six months ago the future of the school was uncertain. Old alumni returning to the school for the game lent a special significance.

       “It’s great to have the alumni back on campus to see the situation first hand,” commented Greenville’s Athletic Director Russ Crouch. “Our hope is everyone will talk and come up with some creative ideas of how they can chip in to keep this school going.”

       The school board decided to keep the school open, though cuts were made across the board.

       “It was a bit challenging,” said event coordinator and Greenville High alum Kaley Bentz. There were students and teachers with low morale this year. The whole community’s morale was a bit low. This game was something the entire community was able to rally around.”

       Greenville’s football team, back from their final game of the season, served up food and refreshments at the concession stands. Proceeds went to next years’ football program.

       The alumni game wasn’t only for the football players. Ex-cheerleaders Lisa Yocum, Courtney Kemp, Janell Harlan and Rachelle Short dressed up in their old uniforms to lead the crowd in cheers for Greenville High.

       Though the game was more about camaraderie than anything else, a fierce competition was waged between the two teams.

       The white team overtook the black team 16-8. The white team scored both touchdowns in the first half, while the black team scored in the second half.

       “It was great,” explained Bentz. “It was a real smash-mouth game. There was a lot harder hitting this year from both sides. I think it was very successful.”

       Hugh Ausmus coached the team in black, while Dennie Wright coached the team in white. Wright graduated from the class of 1969 and at 61, was the oldest player in the game.

       Bentz and Alumni Football USA plan to hold another game next year.

       “This is a great way to make money for the school,” said Bentz. “Everyone has a lot of fun and enjoys seeing these old guys out on the field playing again.”

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