Alex Tucker, the Cass alumni team’s player/coach, said the Colonels expect to have a good game “if we can find the stadium.”
The game will be played at Weinman Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
Tucker, a 1996 graduate of Etowah High who attended and played quarterback and wide receiver at Valdosta State and Cumberland, said Cartersville was confident enough it would win it allowed him to play though he isn’t a former Colonel. He said he’s the only exception.
“Cartersville has this rich football tradition,” he said. “To hear them tell it, they have quite a few high school all-Americans playing for them. They are just stacked. They don’t even have to practice they’re so good. To hear them, they’ve already won the football game.”
The coach said Cartersville’s past success against the Colonels is one reason Cass was invited to participate.
“They’ve beat up on Cass for years, and they figured we were such nice guys ... we’d let them run the score up and have a good homecoming,” Tucker said. “The big part of it is the fact they’re going to let these guys from Cass stand on the same field as these high school all-Americans. We feel real privileged to have the opportunity to go over there. We’re hoping to get autographs after the game.”
Tucker portrays the upcoming matchup as sort of a David vs. Goliath affair.
“We’ve got about 11 or 12 guys and we’re going to carry over and see if we can’t stay on the field with these guys a couple of quarters hoping they could maybe teach us a little something about football,” he said. “They have about 30 guys.”
The coach suggests Cass doesn’t have the extensive football experience of its counterparts but former Colonels have gotten their know-how elsewhere.
“A couple of our guys are fantasy football enthusiasts,” he asserted. “They’ve been playing fantasy football with their wives. I know one guy has a PlayStation and plays video games. He’s learned on the video games how to play a couple of plays. We’re going to try that. We’ve got a guy who’s been playing fantasy football a couple of seasons. It’s not real football. It’s fantasy. His name is Whitey Tucker. We have another guy [who’s] got a PlayStation and he’s played football in a dorm room in college for a couple of years between classes.”
He said two other likely contributors have intriguing backgrounds.
“We’ve got a guy who was a bouncer one time at a night club. He’s a pretty tough guy,” Alex Tucker said. “We’ve got another guy who plays church league softball. We’re real excited about it.”
The coach claimed some talented former Colonels were just too intimidated to play.
“We tried to field more but the intimidation factor has been so strong.”
He said some former Cass players should be dressed out.
“We’re not real sure about who all our players will be. We’re hoping a couple of them will be out on bond that weekend,” he said, jokingly.
Among the players he expects to play are Forrest Jones, an all-county fullback who played for Cass in the early 2000s; Monty Cooley, who played at Ball State; Greg Rutherford, who played in the ’90s.
“We have some good talent, but we’re about 12 strong,” Tucker claimed. “Most of those guys will be playing both ways.”
He hinted he has a secret way to help his team, though.
“Even though Cartersville’s a pretty good football team, I don’t think they count too good,” Tucker said. “We’re going to try to get all 12 guys out on the field at one time. Maybe they won’t catch on until the second half.”
Proceeds from the game go to Cartersville and Cass booster clubs and gates open at 6 p.m., Tucker said.
“It’s a full day’s event,” he said. “The FCA is doing a nice pregame meal at 4 o’clock for both teams. The Cartersville High School band will be playing. It’s a homecoming for Cartersville and their awesome tradition they have over there. We’re just excited to be from the same county.”
Tucker said some changes to the game are being made.
“There won’t be any kickoffs. They’re not trying to ruin anybody’s working career. All hitting has to be from the thigh pad up. There will be no crack blocks,” he said. “The kicking game is all live, but you have to fair catch the punts. Instead of kickoffs, they’ll put the ball on the 35-yard line.”
He said the game will be called by an officiating crew from Gainesville.
“It’ll be just like a regular football game,” Tucker added. “We’re just excited about it and trying to figure out how to put our football equipment on again.”