An Old Bear Cheers for the New Mercer Bears | Schools
SHARPSBURG, GA-- Clarence "Pappy" Boynton and his wife Martha have lived in Sharpsburg for around 30 years. They have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Saturday night, 40 of Clarence's closest friends and family will gather at the Mercer football game.
For the first time in 72 years, Boynton will be back on the field with the Bears.
In 1941, Mercer played its final season. Pappy started at left guard.
"The closer to the day, Saturday, we get, it becomes more real to me," said Boynton.
He was only 160 pounds and had to find ways to play with the big boys.
"If they got high in their stance, I'd probably go under them. I'd just shoot under them," explained Boynton. "If they got down low you'd push their head down and jump over them."
Mercer ended the 1941 season with a 30-13 loss to Chattanooga.
The players had no idea what would happen next.
"December the 7th, 1941 which was a Sunday, I was hitch-hiking from Albany back to Macon, coming back to school. When I got out of the car, I'll I could hear was 'Extra, extra! Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor'," recalled Boynton.
Pappy was a pilot in the Army Air Corps. He flew C47s and C46s.
By 1945, he was out of the service.
"I thought and I think that the coaches thought, when I got back they'll resume and I'll have a job," said Boynton. "But it did not happen."
Since then, there's been no football at Mercer. Until now.
"I think it's going to be good for the school, it will be a total program. It will be another reason for students to come up to Mercer," said Boynton.
Clarence is a co-captain for Saturday's game and will be on the field for the coin toss.
Kickoff against Reinhardt is at 6 p.m.