On the afternoon of April 20th, spirited fans and alumni watched eagerly as the Wake Forest football team capped off its spring practice with the annual Spring Football Game at BB&T Field. This year, the spring game was held in conjunction with the football alumni reunion which allowed Deacons of the past and present to enjoy the cherished tradition. Over 150 former players, coaches, and managers, along with their families, came together to reconnect and reminisce. For the past few months the “captains” of each era of Wake Forest football worked hard to rally former players to return to their alma mater. All their efforts paid off as Wake Forest celebrated its largest football reunion in history.
The 2013 football reunion kicked off Friday with a golf outing at Bermuda Run Country Club. Although the weather forecast did not look promising, the rain held off, and it turned out to be a great day for golf. Over 70 football alumni took to the links for some friendly competition. Each player had the opportunity to catch up with Coach Grobe on hole number 9 where he spent his day practicing his putting stroke. The scramble ended in familiar fashion with Ed Bradley (’72), Mike Capone (‘73), Jack Mellon (’72), Terry Kuharcheck (’72), and Billy Ray Barnes (’57) carding a remarkable 16 under par for the win.
Fortunately as the clouds rolled in, the tournament wrapped up, and the alumni headed over to Bridger Field House to enjoy a night of fried fish and family fun sponsored by Nick Patella (’60). During dinner, Abe Elmore (’55) took to the podium to speak on behalf of his “era.” Thrilled with the tremendous turnout at this year’s reunion, Abe was especially excited to see 28 familiar faces from his time at Wake Forest. During his speech, Abe recognized Ed Butler (’51), the oldest alumni in attendance, and recounted Ed’s remarkable touchdown catch that beat Carolina. Many Deacon Greats were in attendance such as All-Americans Aaron Curry, Alphonso Smith, Steve Vallos, and Billy Barnes. Senator Richard Burr and Wake Forest Trustee, Jim Williams, were also in attendance this year. The night was full of great food, shared memories and a lot of laughs.
Before the game day festivities began, the alumni returned to Bridger Field House for a “chalk talk” with the current coaching staff. Brian Knorr, Defensive Coordinator, Steed Lobotzke, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach Jim Grobe shared their philosophies and vision for the program and the upcoming season. Talking “Xs and Os” was a great opportunity for former players to relive a Wake Forest pregame ritual. The festivities continued with a tailgate and pig-pickin’ followed by the Spring Game. It was a true joy to see so many former players cheering on the current Deacs.
We thank all of those who helped organize the reunion and everyone who attended, and we look forward to an even larger event next year!
To view photos from the Golf Outing, please click here (password: WFU).
For photos from the “Chalk Talk” and Spring Game, please click here (password: WFU).