April 17, 2003
This is another "B" Line column, a periodic collection of news items of particular interest to members of the Baylor "B" Association. Contribute news about you or your teammates via e-mail to Lee Harrington (email@example.com), Dutch Schroeder (Dutch_Schroeder@baylor.edu), Reba Cooper (Reba_Cooper@baylor.edu) or Jack Loftis (Jack.Loftis@chron.com). The mailing address is Baylor "B" Association, P. O. Box 8120, Waco, TX 76714
Good weather, good food and some pretty good golf, fishing and football - particularly by BU Athletic Hall of Fame running back Walter Abercrombie - were the major ingredients in making the April 11-12 Baylor Green & Gold Weekend in Waco an overwhelming success.
Scores of former BU football lettermen returned for the annual golf tournament that preceded the final scrimmage of spring football practice - the Bears' first under new head coach Guy Morriss.
And how well did his players perform?
"I felt progress had been made following four weeks of workouts, especially on defense," Morriss said. "Today we made a few too many mistakes, but we were able to give our fans a glimpse of who we are and we avoided any injuries . . . I think overall we've made some progress, but our offensive line is a concern. I don't know if the defense looked that good today or if the offensive line was that bad."
Prior to the varsity event some of Baylor's former players participated in a one-quarter flag football match. The highlights of that masterful contest included Abercrombie scoring a touchdown, Matt Scales intercepting a pass and running it back for another TD and Trey Weir kicking a 47-yard field goal to end the game.
But the game ball should have been presented to Gatorade.
The top golfers . . .
Brad Goebel, Mike Welch, Brad Stogner and Gary Hays won the team championship at the golf tournament at Bear Ridge Golf Club and individual prizes went to Russell Sheffield in the long-ball competition and to F. A. Dry and Tony Tubbs for their tee shots coming closest to par-three holes.
In the fishing - or lure and lie - event, Robert James helped several Old Bears bait their hooks and all caught at least one fish, with the exception of Walter Groth, whose solid alibi hinged on there not being much water near his home in Fort Stockton.
Friday night's fishing experience was much more enjoyable as Pete Rowe, the Baylor Athletic Department's director of internal operations, observed external delight from those helping themselves to his fried catfish in the "B" Association Room.
Coach Morriss, with several of his assistant coaches in tow, presented an overview of the football program. Morriss said that immediately after the spring game his players would begin an intensive off-season conditioning program to prepare for two-a-day workouts in August. The Bears open the 2003 season with a home game against UAB at 6 p.m. on August 30.
Perhaps the most serious moment of the weekend occurred Friday night when "B" Association President Ronnie Goodwin and David Bell discussed former footballer Cary Ward's continuing battle against Huntington's Disease. Ward contracted the disabling illness after lettering for the Bears in 1984 and 1985. Plans are being made for another "B" Association golf tournament to raise funds for Huntington's research. More on that later . . .
Baseball reunions, too . . .
Members the 1952 Baylor freshman baseball team who celebrated their 50th anniversary last spring decided once was not enough. So they had a 51st reunion April 4-5 during the current Bears' games against Texas.
In attendance were Joe Coleman, Wayne McGee, John Minton, Olin "Sonny" McCraw, Ed Brawner and Charles Edward Smith. Another Charles (Sidney) Smith, who played on the team and attended the 2002 event, could not be present for this year's fellowship - a situation that undoubtedly cleared up some degree of confusion. Incidentally Charles Edward Smith ended up being the co-captain of the 1954 football team.
The 1993 baseball team also was in the spotlight for the Baylor-Texas series. Those Bears finished in a tie for second place in the Southwest Conference regular season and won the conference title by upsetting Texas twice in the tournament, held on the Longhorns' home turf.
In regional competition the 1993 team won its first game, but lost the next two - the final one to national champion LSU.
Players at the reunion included Brent Bearden, Brian Black, Mike Bohny, Marty Crawford, Dean Crow, Shane Davis, Mark Jett, Aaron Lineweaver, Jason Marshall, Jeff Martin, Mark Murphy, Traynor Reitmeier, Brent Shapherd, Jack Stubbs, Sean Sweeney, Matt Trozzo, James Vilade, Rob Walker, Jason Walton, Joe Wharton and Robby White; managers Alex Olson and Alice Meek; and head coach Mickey Sullivan, pitching coach Sid Hudson and assistant coach Bill Bratcher . . .