After two years of a pair of gyms being stuffed to the brim, having stand-room only and even being forced to turn people away, Central Coosa and Alexander City’s alumni game is moving to a bigger venue. The alumni from both Coosa and Benjamin Russell will meet Saturday at the Acadome at Alabama State in Montgomery for the third-annual alumni game.
“Both were pretty much standing-room only to the point where some people weren’t able to participate,” said Benjamin Russell graduate Terrell Owens, who is a Pro Football Hall of Famer. “That’s a great showing of support for both communities. I was asked about possible venues to house more people to bring more people in, still with the whole idea of doing it for the community, so that’s what we’re doing. That’s what was brought to my attention.”
Owens is one of many big-name graduates from BRHS and Central Coosa who will be back to play in Saturday’s game. For Alexander City’s team, Owens will be joined by Scottie Vines, a former Detroit Lion, and Demetrius Fleetion, who is still very active in the Alexander City community.
Former NFL players Adalius Thomas and Justin Tuck as well as former NBA player Jamario Moon will all don Central Coosa jerseys.
“It’s grown so much, and in two years that doesn’t usually happen,” Owens said. “With the communities that we have, obviously there’s a lot of fan support. There’s a lot of support for guys like myself and Adalius and the guys who have gone on to establish professional careers.”
Owens said there were several reasons for moving the game to Montgomery, but the main was to involve more people. He first looked at Central Alabama Community College’s gym but it was unavailable, and that’s when he found Alabama State. According to Owens, the price of the venue is coming out his own pocket, but what was more important to him was getting even more youngsters involved in the event.
“That’s what we’re trying to do is just give back to the community,” he said. “It’s not just about this community or the Central community, though. You think about kids in low-income families or kids that aren’t fortunate enough to see the likes of myself or the others.
“We want to be able to spread that not only just (in Alex City) and not only just in Central, but we want to spread that anywhere we can in the Alabama community. We wanted to move it to a bigger venue where we’re expressing that message.”
Also in attendance will be former NFL star Randy Moss and former NBA player Gerald Wallace. During the second half of the women’s game, there will be an autograph session with Moss and Wallace as well as the other players.
Doors open at 1 p.m. with the women’s game beginning at 2:30 and the men’s game immediately following. Cost at the door is $20 for adults and $10 for kids.