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Former Iowa high school football teammates reunite, as NFL opponents

Tristan Wirfs and Jack Cochrane attended preschool together. They took to the playgrounds once again on Sunday as they embraced and exchanged NFL jerseys.
Credit: AP
Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Tom Brady (12), Tristan Wirfs, and Robert Hainsey, right, wait to lead the team onto the field as fans look on for the first half of a NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

TAMPA, Fla. — Former Iowa Hawkeye football star and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Tristan Wirfs had a reunion on Sunday that was especially memorable.

The Buccaneers lost the game to the Kansas City Chiefs 41-31, but Wirfs was able to walk off the field with a smile after he reconnected with long-time friend and Chiefs' reserve linebacker, Jack Cochrane.

The last time they took the field together, they sported Mount Vernon Mustangs jerseys. Wirfs and Cochrane helped lead Mount Vernon High School to a 20-6 record in their final two prep seasons, including trips to the IHSAA 2A state championship and state semi-finals in their junior and season years, respectively. 

On Sunday, the pair, hailing from Mount Vernon, a small eastern Iowa community of just 4,527, made their community especially proud. 

Wirfs and Cochrane attended preschool together, and they took to the playgrounds once again on Sunday as they embraced and exchanged jerseys. 

While Wirfs took his talent to the University of Iowa, becoming a consensus first-team All-American and 2019 Big Ten offensive lineman of the year as a result, Cochrane found a home at the University of South Dakota. 

As a Coyote, Cochrane was a three-time team captain and three-time all-Mississippi Valley Football Conference (MVFC) honoree. Cochrane led the MVFC in total tackles in 2019 and finished his career as the sixth-leading tackler in South Dakota football program history. He signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in May.

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