Eden Prairie football tradition connects generations

High school football season doesn't start for a few more weeks, but one metro team is already taking the field and crossing generations at the same time.

At The Colony At Eden Prairie, a variety of activities help keep the senior citizens young.

But once a year, they get some stiff competition from the local high school football team.

Every August, the Eden Prairie Eagles take on The Colony staff, led by former Viking Autry Beamon, in a game of two-hand touch football, complete with cheerleaders and the team's mascots.

Coach Mike Grant says the intergenerational scrimmage is a way for his high school juniors and seniors to get to know people like his fifth grade teacher, outside their usual social circles.

"We have a motto 'We are men for others'. So this is doing things for other people. We've been doing this eight years. It doesn't seem like it," Grant said.

"They have so much energy. Energy I don't have," senior spectator Jay O'Hara said.

In addition to football, the teams face off in other competitions, like push-up and hotdog eating contests.

But the most meaningful moments are when the games are over and the students and seniors share stories and a meal where nothing is out of bounds.

"One thing these guys talk about is live life and don't take anything for granted and live every day like it's your last," high school senior Jermaine Johnson said.

This is the eighth year the Eagles have played The Colony and they haven't won a game.