As far as takeovers go, this one was pretty darned fun.
A bunch of big ol’ professional athletes swarmed into Evesham Township on Friday, June 1, for the “Town Takeover” by the Arena Football League Philadelphia Soul. Philadelphia Soul Co-Owner and Philadelphia Eagles legend Ron Jaworski, Soul Head Coach Doug Plank, and Mayor Randy Brown welcome a crowd of several hundred to the parking lot of the Sears Essential on Route 70.
Congressman Jon Runyan also attended the event and told all of the young athletes to work as hard as the members of the Soul to achieve their dreams.
“The Philadelphia Eagles don’t come here, The Philadelphia Phillies don’t come here, the Philadelphia 76ers don’t come here, and the Philadelphia Flyers don’t come here, but we come here to Evesham Township,” Jaworski said to the screaming fans. “We come out to your town for the fans.”
Brown and Jaworski came up with the idea at the home opener for the Soul earlier this year.
“This is another great event for Evesham Township. If you put on an event that is first class, people are going to come out and have a good time,” Brown said.
The indoor football team came to Evesham Township for a simulated practice, a day before their home game on Saturday, June 2, against the Orlando Predators. Half of each ticket sold to an Evesham Township resident at the game will be donated back to the Evesham Celebrations Foundation.
Even with the threat of rain and under darkened skies, hundreds of township residents swarmed out to the event to get a chance to see their favorite member of the Soul. The players stepped off their team bus and immediately went over to the throng of young fans who were hoping to speak with or get an autograph from the athletes.
A makeshift field with inflatable walls was set up in the middle of the parking lot and fans lined along the playing field to watch the Soul practice. Head Coach Plank narrated the action of the practice through a microphone and described each drill and exercise the players were put through.
“It’s great to get out here. It’s just like come to a game. The fans get to come out here and interact with us; they get to do what we do. They catch passes with us, they run plays, it’s great,” said Donovan Morgan, a wide receiver on the team.
It certainly was a hands on event, as two young Soul fans and their father were able to come right up to Morgan and get a football signed for their collection.
Troy Tucker, his son Ryan Tucker, and his stepson Zach Finley were all decked out in Philadelphia Soul jerseys as they looked in awe at the athletes. The trio is season ticket holders.
“Hey, we’re just here to have a good time, this is what its all about,” Troy said. The Philadelphia Soul dance team and their mascot, The Soul Man, made appearances.