By Charlie Warner
By winning four state football championships during the past five seasons, the Caledonia Warriors football program is regarded as one of the best in the state.
Some of the reasons for this ongoing success are excellent and dedicated athletes, a top-notch coaching staff, the support of parents and the community and a very active youth football program. Oh yes, and let’s not forget the Caledonia Touchdown Club.
Started in 2005, the Touchdown Club has helped purchase equipment and advanced technology for the Warriors’ weight room, helped sponsor a flag football league for the younger kids, a football with pads program for fifth and sixth graders, organized fan buses for state tournament games and helped foster a better awareness of the sport in Caledonia.
To help pay for all this and much more that the Touchdown Club does, they will be holding their eighth annual TD Club Fundrasier/Golf Tournament on Saturday, June 2 at Ma Cal Grove Country Club.
The event will feature a four-person, 18-hole scramble, with 27 teams competing. The scramble begins at 10 a.m.
The event is much more than a golf tournament, however.
It also includes a steak dinner, guest speaker, door prizes, live and silent auctions and an opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate past, present and future Warrior football teams.
This year’s guest speaker will be Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan.
Sullivan, who was a sixth round draft pick from Notre Dame in 2008, has proved to be one of the most consistent offensive linemen for the Vikings. He has started in all 45 regular season games and both playoff contests over the past three seasons. And he’ll be one of the cornerstones for the Vikings offensive line for years to come, as he signed a long-term contract extension late in 2011.
“We’re excited to have John Sullivan as our speaker this year,” TD Club President Greg Hoscheit said. “John has really jelled with the Vikings, but also does so much off the field.”
Sullivan has been active in the Twin Cities community with visits to the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. He is also an avid outdoorsman and has participated with youth outdoor mentoring activities through the Minnesota DNR.
“The Caledonia Touchdown Club does so much more than just support the varsity football program,” TD Club member Jim Hoscheit pointed out. “Helping to create the flag and youth football programs was so important. Those activities give the young kids positive exposure to the game of football. They are able to learn the basics of the game long before we did when we were their age.”
Jim pointed out that until recently, most kids didn’t play organized football with helmets and pads until seventh grade.
Greg added that the TD Club encourages the young athletes to do more than just play football. The athletes volunteer their services, cleaning up after the Eitzen Fourth of July celebration, area parades and the Houston County Fair.
“There will be plenty of them helping out with the fundraiser,” Greg stated.
There are still dinner tickets available for $25 a person at Ma Cal Grove Country Club or from any TD Club member.
“We’ve had a fantastic response again this year from area businesses and individuals who have signed up to be hole sponsors, donated auction items, entered teams in the tournament and purchased tickets for the fundraiser meal,” Greg said.
“We’re still accepting auction items,” Jim said. “Persons should call Donna Lampert at 724-2962 or Kari Rusert at 724-3924.”