'Old guys' face off against 'young guys' in DuPont football game
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - What began as a social media battle among former DuPont High School football players has turned into a full-fledged game with hundreds expected to attend.
"It started on Facebook and it went on with DuPont football players from different areas for two months," Tyrone Pierce said. "I was at the root."
Pierce, a 1989 DuPont High graduate who played tailback, teased some of the guys who played in later years that his team could beat theirs. As the banter grew, so did the number of participants, and what began as a joke has turned into a game.
The game is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at DuPont Middle School H.B. Douglas Field. Admission is $5, with proceeds going to benefit the middle school's football team and cheerleading squad as well as the Mator's Kids Foundation, which supplies needy children with coats, shoes and school supplies. The foundation is named for Chris Alan "Mator" Myers, who died March 22, 2011, and was known for reaching out to kids in need.
It would be a good idea to arrive early for the game to secure a seat.
"I have heard we can expect from 1,500 to 2,500," Pierce said of the number of attendees from throughout the country who have indicated they will be there. "We have had a lot of feedback on Facebook. I hope everyone who says they are coming comes out."
As word spread about the event, more than 300 T-shirts were sold with "DuPont Alumni" on the front and "Panthers Never Die" on the back. Sales had to be halted to allow Patriotic Promotions the time to make shirts for participants.
There will be 50 football players, with the "old guys" who played from 1981 to 1994 teaming up against the "young guys" who played from 1995 to 1999.
The ladies who were majorettes from 1979 to 1999 will perform during halftime. Susan Vealey organized this event.
Cheerleaders from the '70s, '80s, and '90s will do cheers from their respective decades. Lori Harrison organized this event.
Pierce said guys have been practicing and trying to get in shape for the game.
Pierce, who lives in Malden, is owner of Pierce Towing, Recovery, Demolition and Rentals.
He said he began pushing for the game because he is now 42 years old and figured it was "time to do something stupid."
He notes he had lots of organizational help from others, including his longtime friend Dave Armstrong, a 1989 DuPont High graduate who played fullback.
Armstrong, who now lives in Boone County, is economic development specialist for the Kanawha County Commission Planning and Development Office.
In their heyday, Armstrong and Pierce were both regularly recognized in the Daily Mail sports sections.
Both are pumped about the upcoming game.
"We've got people coming from all over the country," said Armstrong, who noted thousands have been reached through Facebook. "We've got some guys playing who are 50 years old. The majorettes and cheerleaders will be performing."
DuPont High School and East Bank High School consolidated in 1999 to form Riverside High School.
Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1246.