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Former Marauders turn up in huge numbers at first annual Carlson Alumni game PHOTO GALLERY

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Alumni games are a chance for soccer programs to show off just how much talent has gone through the program and give those alumni a chance to show off their talents one more time.

Carlson held its first annual alumni soccer game Saturday evening and the alumni showed up in astonishing numbers.

At one point, the former Marauders had over 60 players ready to put their cleats back on and return to the pitch. A few last-minute cancellations cut the roster but still made it quite the game.

The alumni were divided up by graduation years; odd graduation years on the blue team and even graduation years on the white.

The alumni age different was a wide one; the youngest players were not even born when the oldest graduated. The oldest alumni was from 1993; the youngest from 2014.

Current Carlson girls’ varsity soccer coach Steve Briggs said the idea to start an alumni game came from a small group of alumni, including his daughter Payton Matzinger.

“I happened to mention that I loved doing my alumni games,” he said. “It’s just fun.

And with the help of a little social media, the group grew from just a few interested players, to a number Briggs could not have even have imagined when the idea came about.

“A couple of them said go ahead and make a Facebook event and it will spread,” Briggs said.

And it did just that.

“I sent out it out to probably 20,” Briggs said. “Some of my former players on the girls’ side and a couple of the guys that went through the boys’ program.

“And it manifested from there. It just exploded.”

Not only did former players and their families show up for the game, but former Carlson coaches Jim Rossow Mark Nyholm and Amy Samfilippo were in attendance as well.

“I didn’t know they were coming,” Briggs said. “They started the program and Rick took it from there, handed it to me, handed it to Mario.

“That says a lot for the program; that the coaches come back and that there’s still the relationships. I know I’m not just a coach, as well as those other five coaches that were here.”

The even graduations years won the game 3-1.

The odd graduation year team took a 1-0 lead with 2:47 left in the first half when Jon Langley put one in the back of the net.

Joe Williams tied things up early in the second half and almost 10 minutes later Drew Kohn gave the white team a lead they never let up.

Two minutes later, Levi Hatfield capped the night’s scoring for the 3-1 final.

The alumni game is something Briggs and the rest of the Carlson coaching staff would like to continue.

“I’d like to do a girls’ game and a guys’ game, whether it be opposite weekends or one in the fall and one in the spring,” Briggs said. “I just like how it became an entity in itself. It just continued to grow bigger and bigger and bigger and it is gonna manifest two-fold I think.

“And then it’ll just be a matter of oh, I can’t make it this year, but I can make it next year.”

Last Updated: 7/31/2014 7:33:55 PM EST