Last year, two dozen Westfield High School graduates took the field at Kehler Stadium to relive old times and make some new memories. Former soccer players divided into two teams for a little friendly competition on Black Friday.
When the fourth annual alumni match kicks off at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 23 at Kehler, an even larger crowd is expected.
"This year will be a special year as well for two reasons," explained Chris Partelow, class of '94, who has organized the game with the help of George Kapner, WHS's boys soccer coach. "Obviously the event keeps getting bigger and bigger, but the class of ’92 has their 20th year reunion that night as well. We won the State Championship back in 1992 so we expect a lot of those alumni to be participating.
"Finally, yesterday's (Monday's) game by the WHS boys soccer team was George Kapner's last game as head coach. He is retiring from coaching after a 37-year career, so that will be celebrated as well."
Partelow said he's hoping for a great turnout and another exciting match-up. During last year's 90-minute game, the 1991 through 1994 graduates took on those from the '87, '88, '89 classes and "youngsters" from graduating classes of 2007 through 2010. The final score was 6-5 with the youngsters/older guys winning a hard-fought victory.
"It should be an entertaining event and hopefully the older alums can revenge the loss to last year’s winner, the youngsters," he said.
Last November, Kapner told Patch he hoped to see this tradition continue.
"It's absolutely a great time," Kapner said. "We look forward to this becoming a rite. Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving from 10 to 12, we hope all Westfield High School soccer alums will join us. Everyone is welcome."
Following the match, a gathering with refreshments will be held for players and their families.