Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Ex-Eagles, Media Take on Wounded Warriors in Charity Event

Former Eagles linebacker Ike Reese gets his flag pulled against members of the Wounded Warrior Amputee football team. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Former Eagles linebacker Ike Reese gets his flag pulled against members of the Wounded Warrior Amputee football team. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

The Wounded Warriors Amputee Football Team took on select NFL Alumni/Media prior to the Philadelphia Soul’s home contest against the Orlando Predators Monday night in honor of Military Appreciation Night.

In a one-sided affair, the Wounded Warriors topped the Alumni/Media squad by a score of 63-35.

While the Wells Fargo Center jumbotron kept score throughout, there was no one who paid any attention to what the numbers said. The game was all about honoring those who served the United States of America.

“They called me because of the movie ‘Invincible’ but these are guys who are what invincible spirit is all about,” said Vince Papale. “It’s pretty amazing with their resiliency and the guts they have.”

The fans were pleased to see longtime Philadelphia Eagles stars, including Brian Westbrook, Ike Reese and A.J. Feeley, join the likes of analysts such as Sal Paolantonio and Mike Mayock in a charity event designed to raise awareness and support for wounded warriors and their families.

“Anytime you can come out and support great men who put their lives on the line for our country, our freedom and the things we enjoy, this is the least I can do,” said Reese.

Soul owner Ron Jaworksi served as the coach of the Almuni/Media squad. His team also featured former Eagles Garry Cobb, Vince Papale, Bill Bergey, Mike Mamula, Thomas Tapeh, Gerry Feehery, Kevin Reilly, Lee Woodall, Ken Dunek, Bruce Laird, Jack Dolbin, Chris Draft, Dave Vobora and Kyle Eckel. Baltimore Ravens assistant coach Randy Brown, former Temple University quarterback Adam Dimichele, 6ABC’s Walter Perez, USA soccer star Heather Mitts and former Soul defensive back Keita Crespina rounded out the group.

The game ended on a hail mary that saw Feeley, who was under center for most of the game for the Wounded Warriors, haul in a one-handed pass from Paolantonio which drew a huge round of applause from the fans.

For many of the ex-Eagles players who played on Sundays together, it was a reunion they all looked forward to.

“It feels good to be there with those old guys,” said Westbrook with a grin on his face. “Those guys are great people and it’s good to see my friends again.”

Even for the players who were separated by decades and never took the field as teammates, it was a special experience being able to finally take the field on the same side.

“Anytime we get to reminisce as players with teammates and some of the older guys you watched when you were younger is a great all-around experience,” said Reese.

With the win, the Wounded Warriors move to 8-0 all-time versus the NFL Alumni.

Kyle Phillippi For Philly.com
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