|Several of the guys in black & gold had been in Harrodsburg a few days earlier. September 24, 1982|
Stephanie says I only have one good story from high school, but I have been able to get some mileage from it over the years.
One Saturday night in early September, 1982, myself and three friends went to see a movie in Danville. You may not remember Fast Times at Ridgemont High but I bet most of us old guys do remember Phoebe Cates.
After the movie, our driver decides he wants to meet a girl he saw in the theatre. We drive out to the bowling alley in Danville to find her. Our first time through the parking lot, a few of the guys out there yell stuff at us. Undeterred, my buddy continues in his quest. A few minutes later, we go back through the bowling alley. But, this time, about 8 car loads of guys jump in their vehicles to chase us. I knew it was serious when one of them passed us & did a donut at the intersection of Maple Avenue & Lexington Street.
At this point, we are getting back to Harrodsburg as fast as we can. We make it to Beaumont Plaza and all the guys that have chased us, circle their vehicles behind what use to be Long John Silvers. We are in good shape now, because we have the numbers. In particular, we have Woody Holt & the Elliott brothers. Woody became my brother in law, great friend, & a wonderful uncle for my kids. Woody rides his motorcycle into the circled cars and says. "I hear you want to fight some boys from Harrodsburg. I'm from Harrodsburg!" Our visitors began to get back in their cars. Many of the guys in the cars turned out to be some of my friends from Boyle County. They told me later that a KNEE came to the door of one of their cars. That would have been one of the Elliott brothers.
Gradually, I began to realize many of these guys were my friends from when I went to Boyle County and also from going to Centenary in Danville. John Key( a good friend, played football for Boyle) told me just a few weeks ago, he didn't realize until I yelled his name that he was not going to get his "tail" kicked. John, and several of those guys and many my friends, would return for our game when the Rebels would play at Mercer, just a few days later. Todd Bryant was with those guys also that night and now we are both at Mercer together.
It ended very well, with everyone standing around talking. My buddy that wanted to meet the girl, yes, he was talking to her while the rest of us tried to sort out the mess that almost got started. And, as you might have guessed, AFTER everything had calmed down, we had several more that were ready to fight if needed... bless their hearts.
The first time I shared this story with my team was on a Thursday, in the locker room, before we played at Rowan County in 2010. In 2009, we had beat Rowan in a close game at home. They had everyone back, expecting to have a GREAT team, and had made arrangements to get our 2010 game televised. No one plans on televising a game they will lose. They had scored 71 points the week before on Fleming and they were foaming at the mouth to get us.
I told our guys that we needed them at Kickoff from the very beginning, like Woody Holt. Woody stuck his nose in there for us when we needed him the most, right at the beginning. That night in Harrodsburg, we had a lot of guys ready to fight, AFTER Woody and the Elliott brothers had put out the fire. I have seen a lot of football players like that over the years. AFTER the game is determined, they are ready to be the heroes. But, when the bullets are flying early, they want no part of it!
Our team doesn't really need guys for after the outcome is determined. We need guys that will fight and play hard from the opening kick off. You can win championships with those guys.
I will give my 2010 team credit. Those guys played their tails off and played one of the best football games we played at Mason in my 19 years there. It was a wild dogfight from the beginning and our guys answered the bell and won that televised game by two touchdowns.
I don't advocate violence & fighting. Usually there is a better solution and I am glad things worked out for us that night in September of 1982. But, I am thankful for Woody Holt & the Elliott brothers. And, those old Phoebe Cates movies are still pretty good.