Jason Dumont, a longtime football coach at Iowa City Regina Catholic, paced the sidelines. Every play produced an intense stare from this Golden Hawk and Hawkeye who became a Regals …
Jason Dumont, a longtime football coach at Iowa City Regina Catholic, paced the sidelines. Every play produced an intense stare from this Golden Hawk and Hawkeye who became a Regals coach nearly 20 years ago.
This was about football and family.
Here was Dumont, a Mid-Prairie grad, coaching a high school football game that included his son, Gentry, playing for Regina and his nephew, Landry Gingerich, playing for the Golden Hawks.
And it was also about early-season survival in a season that could lead both schools to the state tournament.
A field goal late in the first half of the Sept. 1 game produced a 17-0 Regina lead. A touchdown in the third quarter made it 23-0.
Still, Dumont knew the fight wasn’t over. It never is against Mid-Prairie. And only a Golden Hawk grad would know that.
“You know you’re always going to get a tough fight out of these kids,” Dumont said. “They’re going to fight you tooth and nail. There’s never a give up in those Mid-Prairie kids, and you saw that tonight. They kept fighting.”
The fight went down to the very last play, when Mid-Prairie junior Blake Swart scored his first high school varsity touchdown on a pass from Gentry Bontrager.
Dumont, a 1988 Mid-Prairie graduate who went on to play on the defensive line at the University of Iowa, watched as his nephew, Gingerich, chased after his son, Regina quarterback Gentry Dumont, from his linebacker position.
This was more than just a football battle on a Friday night where the stands were packed on both sides in Iowa City. It was family time.
It was just a month ago that Landry, Gentry and other family members united for a family get-together at Jason Dumont’s house. And, yes, the topic of Mid-Prairie versus Regina does surface. You can count on it.
“I’m hearing it sometimes from my uncle, Jason,” Landry Gingerich said. “The pressure’s always on coming into this game. Always a fun one to do. Talking to him afterwards is always a good time.”
And in the middle of those battles on the field, it was pretty common for Landry to look up and there’s his cousin, Gentry Dumont, trying to make a play against the Golden Hawk defense.
“After a play, I’ll say, ‘What’s up?’” Landry said. “He’ll say, ‘What’s up?’ It’s just a good time out there.”
Gingerich was one of Mid-Prairie’s defensive leaders, totaling 4.5 tackles, including one for a loss. Gentry Dumont passed for 280 yards and 3 touchdowns, and was also sacked once in the Regals’ 51-19 victory.
All of that will come up in conversation at another family party.
A reconnection with Mid-Prairie football surfaced two years ago when the Golden Hawks and Regals played for the first time in a regular-season game since 2008. Following 14 years and seven state championships as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Regina, Dumont was a first-year head coach for a scheduled game in 2021 between the Golden Hawks and Regals. Due to an influx of Covid cases, Mid-Prairie forfeited the game.
A year later, they actually played and the Regals won, 35-7.
And that brought us to last Friday, when Dumont paced those sidelines and stared into his own history as he looked across the field at Mid-Prairie’s sideline.
He played for the Golden Hawks.
And he coached for them.
“I know everybody down there,” he said. “I know everybody on the coaching staff. I started my coaching career at Mid-Prairie with Mark Dalton way back in the late ‘90s. There’s a couple guys on the Mid-Prairie staff that I coached when I was there.”
Dumont was a Golden Hawks senior in 1987 when they shut out Regina, 28-0.
The respect is still in place. Rock solid.
“It’s a great place. Great community,” Dumont, now a financial advisor in Coralville, said of Mid-Prairie.
Until they meet again …
News columnist Paul Bowker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @bowkerpaul
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