2018-10-12 / Travel

Part 21: Playing Football at PC

By Warner M. Montgomery, Ph.D.

The PC football team poses for a photograph. The PC football team poses for a photograph. (Note: This series is from my father’s memoirs I found long after his death.)

Billy Barron, a friend of mine from Greeleyville, had finished Presbyterian College ( PC) and was attending medical school in Charleston. During the summer he had a job recruiting students for PC. Billy offered me a scholarship to attend PC and play football. Of course, I accepted. It was for $50.

Delton Clarkson, another Greeleyville friend who had taken a job teaching in Anderson, gave me a ride to Clinton that summer. He took me right to the athletics office where I met Coach Walter A. Johnson. [Note: Johnson introduced blue uniforms with long blue socks. Sports writers started calling the PC teams the “Blue Stockings” which officially became “The Blue Hose”]

I thought I was a pretty good football player for my size, but I was third string at PC and only played in three games: Erskine, Wofford, and Newberry. At Erskine, I missed a tackle and was taken out of the game. Against Wofford, I was first sent in the game to play end. Coach Johnson tried to let everybody play, but we ran out of backfield men so he sent me in as halfback. I knew how to line up, but I didn’t know the plays. The ball was hiked to me, and I was supposed to step out of bounds so the ball would be brought in 15 yards from the sideline. I didn’t know that, and I ran for eight yards before I was tackled. So, in my college career, I averaged eight yards every time I carried the ball.

In the Newberry game we were leading 9- 7, if I remember correctly, but Newberry was marching down the field. Coach Johnson sent me in at defensive right end and said, “Don’t let the runner get around you!” I did better than that... I tackled him for a loss, and the game was over. I was a hero!

After a few weeks of school, the freshmen met in the auditorium to elect class officers for the year. Back then, politicking was done mainly by fraternities. My fraternity had a deal with another fraternity: we would vote for their presidential candidate, and they would support our vice-presidential candidate.

The meeting got started and quickly turned into chaos. It was a mad election. All previous agreements seemed to disappear. When it was over, I was elected to the student council, and also had the vice-presidency.

The next year I was elected sophomore student council representative. The fraternity was pleased with my election because they thought I was on my way to become student body president my senior year.

Next Week: Playing Baseball at PC

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