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Generations of East Texans face-off in full pads for full contact football


Heart racing, palms sweaty, helmet on, back hurting, your wife and kids watching from the stands...wait, what? These are not your typical East Texas football teams.

When these two Upshur County teams take the field on Saturday, more than just homecoming queens and who is throwing the next party will be on their minds. These men will be playing to keep their community traditions alive.

Decades of football players from Ore City High School and Union Grove High School will go helmet-to-helmet Saturday, July 13 at Rebel Stadium in Ore City. While each man has their own reason for joining an alumni football team, it is without a doubt that each is hoping to experience that same adrenaline rush felt before Friday night games in high school.

Game rules and regulations are very similar to those that Texas high school football players follow today. Each team will be dressed out in full pads, and each game is full contact. There are four, 12 minute quarters called by certified refs. From the press box, each player's name will boom out of the stadium speakers, just like they did during their glory days.

These teams and Saturday's game was organized through a company called Alumni Football USA. The company organizes teams in almost every state. Through the Alumni Football USA website or app, players can sign up for their alumni team and get organized. The company even provides all of the football pads and gear needed.

Alumni football games are sure to not only bring back good memories, they are guaranteed to make new ones as well. Players also see the teams as a way to bring different generations together to achieve one common goal. Alumni teams in East Texas include Gilmer, Gladewater, Union Grove, and Ore City.

The Ore City High School Rebel alumni team will take on the Union Grove High School Lion alumni team on Saturday, July 13 at Rebel Stadium. The game will start at 7:30 p.m.

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