The “old men” of Quincy High School past matched up against Quincy High’s soccer team Friday, Sept 21. Soccer players from previous years were able to take the field once more and test their abilities against a younger batch of players.
The QHS alumni game tradition started in the late ’90s. Originally meant to be a one-time event, it proved so successful it was carried on into current years.
Now there are three alumni games per year: one at the end of spring training, one at the beginning of the season and one toward the end of the season.
Not only does the event allow older players to play on the field once again, it is also used as a gauge to see how the team is progressing.
“It’s a really good measuring stick,” said QHS coach and alumni game organizer Tanner Johns. “It’s a good opportunity, because the alumni will give suggestions to the students and show them what they need to do.”
Johns even pauses the game when he sees one of his students struggling with a play.
“If it’s clearly a coaching moment we’ll stop play, give our suggestions, then rewind and let them try it again,” explained Johns.
Though the game is enjoyable for the alumni, it is ultimately for the education of the current team. The alumni players who come back to play the game are generally very skilled.
“To my knowledge,” said Johns, “the high school team has never beaten the alumni team.”
When the alumni instruct the high school team, it gives the team a coaching session from a different point of view. This diversifies the team’s methods and execution of plays.
This year Johns, Jeren Seibel and Viet Tran returned to their former field for the game. They were accompanied by Ricardo Gonzalez, Francisco Rico and Jose Reynoso.
The “old men” continued the tradition of winning and beat the QHS soccer team 6-5.