If you played football or have coached in the school district during the past 50 years, the Vilonia Eagle Football Foundation is looking for you to join in on a celebration.
“This year, is the 50th season for Vilonia football and we are hoping to find some former players for an alumni, flag-football game, said Johnny Reed, vice president of the Vilonia Eagle Foundation. “We have been able to find several but not all. We are trying to get the word out.”
The celebration will begin with “special tailgating” for football alumni at the homecoming game on Friday, Oct. 14. Foundation members will begin grilling hamburgers at 5 p.m. prior to the homecoming game. The meal is being paid for by Weaver-Bailey Construction, Reed said. However, the celebrating continues into Saturday. Tents and tables will be set up providing the alumni a place to just sit and visit. Some memorabilia has been collected but everyone is welcome to bring what they have, also, for show and tell.
Reed said the fun doesn’t stop there. The foundation is issuing a challenge to former players and coaches to come for an alumni, flag-football game at 6 p.m., Saturday, October 15. Concessions will be also be available for those in the stands.
“We would like for all the old players to come out and play,” Reed said. “For those who can’t play, they can watch and just visit.”
Although it is not required, Reed would like for all alumni to contact him for information or to pre-register by emailing your name and age to email@example.com. Those planning to play on the teams will be matched according to age.
“We are going to have to have divisions for sons, dads and grandpa’s,” Reed said, jokingly. “It could be multiple games. It just depends who shows up to play."
This gives everyone the chance to just take the field one more time,” he added.
Former coaches are also encouraged to attend. Several have said they will be there including Steve Shock, David Bangs and Jim Stanley. Some former players are planning on coming and helping with the games such as Dwayne Hall. According to the 50 Years of Vilonia Football page, players will be making the trip from out of state. Billy Lanter, who lives in Florida, is preparing for the drive.
Foundation members have gone through 50 school annuals and have a list with the names of many of the players, yet, they have not been able to contact all. The list remains long. They are in hopes to reach many more before Friday night. Those on the hunt make it clear they are not soliciting any money but instead just wanting to invite the athletes to come back, visit and maybe even play.
“50 Years of Football,” T-shirts, decals and caps may also be purchased.
--This is not a school sponsored event but one that it is anticipated that many students, parents and staff will be interested in participating in.