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Love for the game runs deep for Newton Nite Hawk players

Long after they played their final down of high school or college football, the desire to still compete and be a part of a team remains strong for former players.

ALTOONA, Iowa — During the week, players for the Newton Nite Hawks put on their cleats and pads  as they gear up for practice. They chat and catch up on how work's going, how the family's doing and everything in between.

When they're out on the field, it's their chance to break away from all the stresses of daily life and just enjoy some quality time with the boys.

"You come home from work, a little bit of stress," said Nite Hawks defensive end Jordan Smith. "Like, I'm gonna go hang out with the bros. I'm gonna go play football. I'm gonna release all that. I'm gonna have fun."

Fun and jokes aside, like any team, they try and get better each practice in hopes it will result in wins on gameday.

"We're really getting on the same page," said Nite Hawks tight end Scotty Hayes. "We're not quite there yet, but we all want it so bad. There's just a burning fire in everybody, so I'm so excited"

Their history of winning dates back to the mid 70s when they were originally formed as a semi-pro team back in the by Jim foster, also known as the man who developed the patent for arena football.

The club eventually folded. But it was recently brought back to life in 2019,this time as an armature football team.

This week, the Nite Hawks face off against the powerhouse program St. Paul Pioneers of the NEFL. The Pioneers went 10-4...

Posted by The Newton Nite Hawks - Amateur Football Club on Wednesday, May 4, 2022

"We reached out to Jim," said Mark Mackerman. "He gave us permission, you know written consent to use the name, the logo, all that stuff and I think we've done a good job living up to it."

But it's not just about reliving those old glory days. It's also about being part of a brotherhood.

"I think that that's mostly it for everybody," said Hayes. "The brotherhood that we wind up creating, right? So, you get a really awesome atmosphere of guys. A lot of us have full time jobs, families. We don't really get the guys time or whatever."

 "It's a family away from family," added Smith. "That's what keeps you coming back."

In a league where players pay to play rather than the other way around, love for each other and love for the game are the driving forces behind it.

"Part of what keeps a guy going and doing this sort of stuff is just the love of the game," said Nite Hawks President Gordon Head. "So, I really love football I know my business partner does. You know, each of these guys behind me really loves playing the game."