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Battle of Route 93 pitting Coventry against Manchester alumni in football game

7/12/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

Shown is the 2012 Coventry alumni football team.
Photo courtesy of Terri Pfaff
COVENTRY — This marks the third year for what has become an annual event — the “Battle of Route 93,” where alumni from Coventry and Manchester high schools resume their rivalry on the football field.

The game will take place tomorrow, July 14, at Coventry Memorial Stadium. Kick-off is at 7 p.m., and the gates will open at 6 p.m.

“There will be concessions, a 50/50 raffle, T-shirts and programs,” said Coventry graduate and team coach Gary Hutt. “This is the first year for a program. It is 22 pages and sells for $5.”

The game will feature players from Coventry and Manchester who graduated between 1990 and 2008, he said, noting this year’s game will feature a father and a son (Jim and Jimmy Conner), three brothers (Mike, Bobby and Matt White) and a pair of cousins (Jimmy and Chuck Mashburn).

According to Hutt, the game is a joint venture among the Coventry Alumni Football Team, the Manchester Alumni Team and Alumni Football USA.

The game is produced by the Alumni Football USA organization, which handles alumni games throughout the United States. Hutt said Alumni Football USA provides the tickets, uniforms and equipment.

“Every player pays $97 for the use of the equipment and to offset game fees, officials and rent of the field,” he said.

Alumni Football USA handles certain aspects of putting the game together, Hutt noted, while other aspects are handled by alumni from the schools.

Hutt said the Coventry Alumni Football Team operates under the umbrella of the Coventry Alumni Association.

“This club is administered by Terri Pfaff, Chuck Mashburn, Brian Bucksar, David Willis and [myself],” he said. “Our mission is to improve the high school experience for Comet varsity players.”

The organization strives to “build a tradition of community support from youth football to alumni players,” Hutt stated.

“We do a variety of things,” he said. “We feed the team, and we have added goal post pads at a cost of $1,100, a new tackling sled for $1,500 and $4,200 to aid in the construction of the new field house. In addition, two $500 scholarships will be awarded to 2013 senior football players. Those scholarships are awarded in the memory of Kerby Huddleston, an alumni player, and former coach Mo Tipton, who have both passed. We have donated over $500 to youth football over the years.”

Hutt said the organization is in the middle of “undertaking a major project” this year.

“We are installing a turf sideline to deal with the mud and water that always stands on the sideline,” he said. “We are looking for donations or help with the cost of crushed limestone and sand. We have the turf all ready.”

Hutt said anyone who wants to help out with the project is invited to call him at 330-727-5381.

Tickets for the “Battle of Route 93” are $10 for adults, $6 for students ages 3-17 and free for children 3 and younger. Hutt said those who wish to make sure part of the revenue from their ticket goes to the Coventry Alumni Football Team need to buy their tickets in advance.

“We only get one-half of the presale tickets,” he said. “If people wait until game day, us and the school get nothing — it all goes to USA Alumni.”

Presale tickets are available from any of the players or from Lyons Photography, 2015 S. Main Street in Akron. Lyons Photography can be reached by calling 330-773-5071 or by email atlyonsphoto@aol.com.  

Additional information about the game can be found at tinyurl.com/CAFG2012.

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