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I was in Berea this weekend and stopped by the Berea HS football field. One of my happiest memories in HS was on that field in October of 1982. Early in the game, as I let go of the ball, I got a facemask in the back and hit the ground. But, with my face in the dirt, I hear cheering from our fan section that had travelled to the game. Alan Hendren had caught the pass and was headed to the endzone. We went on to win that game, doubling our win total for the season. And, yes, there is a big difference in 1-9 and 2-8!

The most interesting part of that game was that we took a Pep Bus full of students. Can you imagine having enough fans to follow a 1-8 football team on a cold October night? I am proud to say that at Mercer County HS in 1982, we had that many loyal fans/students. And, it was cold. Greg Brown was a sophomore on that team and he told me that was the coldest football game he ever played in.

Greg does our video for us at Mercer and it has been fun remembering these old stories. What I had always remembered as 4th & Richmond that night at Berea, Greg remembered the details. One night this past season, he said to me, "Do you remember the night we had 4th & 49 at Berea?" He told me on the 3rd & 17 I got in the huddle and told the guys we were going to get the first down. Later, Coach French told me that I had played well except for taking the sack to get 4th & 49. When I got home, my Dad told me I played well and the best play of the game was taking the sack and not turning the ball over. 

In 2017, Pep Busses are not as common, even for good teams. To think we could have a Pep Bus for a 1-8 team on a very cold night says a lot about our school spirit back in those days.

Whenever I remember that game, I always think of those students that rode the Pep Bus. I know there had to be at least one teacher on that bus with them. I really appreciate them being there and it still means a lot to me.

Photo at:

Black Shoes and White ShoeStrings: A Pep Bus for a 1-8 Team?