Rival alumni set gridiron match

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Cassville, Monett to play on June 23

It is now official — teams of alumni from Cassville and Monett will battle on the gridiron in full contact on Friday, June 23 at Burl Fowler Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Bob Cazet, owner and founder of Alumni Football USA, met with 31 interested alumni from both schools to lay out basic rules and answer questions.

“I’ve got the field reserved and we have the players signed up,” Cazet said. “This game is going to happen, and with your help, it will be the biggest event in your town. People are going to be talking about this game. We have to have 25 guys [for each team] paid four weeks in advance for this game to happen. We’ve got that. If someone wants to still play, tell them to come on. You’ll want them out there to give you a break.”

Cazet, who began his company simply because he wanted to play one more high school game, has hosted over 1,200 football games in 31 states since 1985.

“We are on the verge of being in all 50 states,” he said. “We are closing in on a deal for a reality show, and you guys could be a part of that. I don’t know, but you could be.”

Cazet covered the basics with the potential players, such as they all need to have their own health insurance or they could not play — although he mentioned that it could be purchased from vendors for as little as $35. He also informed the group when the pads would arrive and when they would be fitted.

“Let me put your minds at ease,” Cazet said. “If you could hit back in the day, you can still hit. It doesn’t go away and you still got it. If you couldn’t hit back in the day, run.”

The game does have a few rules tweaks. Cazet listed the top five.

• No blocking below the waist: 15-yard penalty.

• No blitzing: Teams can only rush a maximum of four players per play. Individuals will declare their intention to rush by lining up in a 3-point stance.

• No A-gap rush on punts or extra-points: The center is not allowed to be touched on these plays.

• Celebration is allowed and encouraged. Cazet said if it is a good celebration it will be in the team video and if it is a bad celebration dance, it will be in the team video.

• No taunting. Taunting will result in an immediate ejection.

The teams selected captains for the game and were also tasked with finding coaches and a group to honor at halftime.

Cazet also set the first practice for each team for April 22, and he plans to be in attendance for that date. Cassville will practice at 2 p.m. on the Cassville High School practice field and Monett is set for 3 p.m. at the Monett High School practice field.

Cazet said his equipment is in great shape and meets all the current safety regulations, and the teams will be playing in jerseys matching school colors.

Alumni Football USA’s gear has been involved or associated with three movies and one television show: “The Blind Side,” “When the Game Stands Tall” and “One Heart” and the television series “Friday Night Lights.”

The cost to play is $100, to sign up for the game, people may go to www.alumnifootballUSA.com. Should the game not be played, a 100 percent refund will be issued.

For more information or to signup, Cazet can be reached at 707-322-7650.

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