By Jordan Miller
Alumni from Carrollton have chosen to strap on their football pads once more to battle their long time rival Minerva in an alumni game. For many of the former Warriors, their reason to return to the field is personal.
Kevin Butterfield, who graduated in 1987, is looking to avenge his high school team’s losses to the Lions. A.J. Dalton says he is playing because he supports his community. Brandon Cline says it’s about playing with people he hasn’t had the opportunity to play with before.
The game is set for Aug. 1 at Community Field in Carrollton with kickoff at 7 p.m.
The participants range from 1987 graduates all the way to 2014 graduates.
Cline, a 2007 graduate of Carrollton, played all four years in high school.
“I neverthought I’d play with some of the guys coming out to play,” Cline said. He was a sophomore on the 2004NBC Champion team, the only NBC Champion team ever at Carrollton. During his high school years, the Warriors beat Minerva every year. When asked what made him come back to play in another game eight years after graduation, Cline said, “Because I’m crazy.”
Butterfield, a 1987 graduate of Carrollton, will also be taking part in the alumni game. “I’ve always loved the game of football,” Butterfield said when asked what made him come back to play a game of football 28 years after graduation. “The thing that put it over the edge for me is playing against Minerva. It’s a big rivalry and I have some unfinished business because we came up on the short end of the stick a couple times.”
Butterfield works for Tennessee Gas and has always kept himself in good shape. He works out three to four times a week and does a lot of running. The last time he played Minerva his senior year, his team lost 14-0 and he is now looking to finish some “unfinished business.”
Dalton, a 2010 Carrollton graduate, will be suiting up to play again as well. Dalton adds four years of collegiate experience and some NFL experience to the Carrollton roster. Dalton was a big asset to the Robert Morris University football team, starting 37 games in his four years with Colonials. He also spent a short time with the Detroit Lions on the offensive line.
“I support my community,” he said. “And, the game raises funds for the Carrollton football program,” said Dalton when asked why he decided to come out and play in the alumni game vs. Minerva. “I’m very confident in my training. Carrollton and Minerva have a lot of tough, hard working guys in the community,”
Dalton said, “Playing with the Lions opened a lot of doors as in playing and coaching and some business opportunities. He is currently the offensive line coach at Shaler Area High School in Pittsburgh, PA.
The Warriors Squad will be coach by Varsity Head Coach Eric McCort and Offensive Coordinator Skip Turkovich.
“What’s cool is I remember watching some of these guys play when I was a kid,” said McCort, who graduated from Carrollton in 1996. “Its cool to see Butterfield out here running around catching balls and how good of shape he is in for his age. It brings me back to my little kid days when I fell in love with the game.”