In a Friday, Aug. 18, showdown that was about more than just points, the Eden Prairie High School football team and staff at The Waters of Eden Prairie senior living community faced off in their 14th annual friendly touch-football game.
While the high school players had a size advantage, the game’s highlight came in its closing moments.
The Waters’ quarterback launched a Hail Mary pass that sailed over the outstretched hand of Eagles senior Vinny Dykstra, allowing a player from The Waters to make an amazing one-handed catch for a game-winning touchdown. After the play, Coach Grant was overheard saying it was the greatest play he’d ever seen in the rivalry between the teams.
To the delight of The Waters’ residents, the staff managed to eke out wins in both the hot dog eating contest — by a single dog — and a push-up challenge by just one push-up. Commenting on the day’s results, Eagles players playfully acknowledged the challenges of winning on the road.
The afternoon’s highlight was the chance for players and residents to get acquainted. Players mingled with seniors in an intergenerational meet-and-greet, emphasizing a cherished team tradition of connecting with the community’s elderly.
For Coach Mike Grant, it was another chance to reconnect with his fifth grade teacher, Betty Van Someren. Betty said Mike was a good student. His time in her class marked his first academic experience in the United States. That move came after his father, Bud Grant, relocated the family from Winnipeg to Minnesota to coach the Vikings in 1967.
The Eagles return to the gridiron to prepare for the season opener at home against Buffalo on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m.
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