Cola Wars game brings Pierce family together

High School Sports

TUSCOLA (WCIA) — Tuscola’s Jonah Pierce was born into his own Cola War.

“My mom’s from Arcola,” Pierce said.

Jonah’s dad Pat grew up in Tuscola and played football for the Warriors from 1991-93. He rushed for 4,200 yards during his career and holds the school’s record for most rushing yards in a game. He now serves as a defensive assistant coach for the Warriors. 

“It was pretty one-sided back in the day,” Pat Pierce said.

In favor of the Purple Riders, but now the roles have reversed with the Warriors winning 11-straight in the series dating back to 1997.

“I know it’s really important for the community,” Pat Pierce said about the rivalry. “It’s a lot of fun bragging rights as far as that’s concerned. It’s something you can keep in your back pocket for a year or so.”

And now, for the first time, one of Pat’s sons will have a chance to play in his own Cola War.

“Kind of nervous going in,” Jonah Pierce said. “I don’t really know what to expect.”

“It’s a really neat experience to kind of watch them grow,” Pat Pierce added. “Not only at home, but on the football field as well, which is really important.”

Fortunately Jonah has both his father and head coach Andy Romine, who have each coached on both sides of the Cola Wars. Both served as assistants in Arcola. 

“There’s a lot of passion behind both high school football programs,” Romine said. “And the legacy of both high schools programs, I think, are both very similar.”

And as for mom, the Arcola alum and her family?

“As a matter of fact, her sister went out and bought both Arcola and Warrior towels to support both towns,” Pat Pierce said.

A war with no wrong sides for the Pierce family.

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