L.C. MacQuirter and Joe Scarborough had a lot of catching up to do at the third annual Jordan Vocational High School Athletic Hall of Fame banquet on Saturday night.
The two members of the Red Jackets' 1953 state championship track team had not seen each other since their high school days.
MacQuirter, Scarborough, as well as teammates Robert Smith, Bubba Ferrell and the late Charles Cox, James Storey and coach Bill Godwin were members of the 2012 class. In addition to the track team, Phil Clark, Roger Dansby, Jan Commander and Kenneth Vann were also inducted.
Scarborough, class of 1954, and MacQuirter, a 1953 graduate, took different paths in life after graduation from Jordan. MacQuirter currently lives in Americus and Scarborough in Fortson.
"I travelled all over with Royal Crown Cola," MacQuirter said. "I was gone from Georgia for 17 years."
Scarborough graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in forestry management. His career managing and selling timber took Scarborough throughout Georgia, North Carolina, Florida and Mississippi.
Each of the track team members had a specialty. Ferrell was the specialist in short distances. Scarborough remembers the speed of his teammate.
"He ran the 100-yard dash and the 220," Scarborough said. "He also did the long jump. Bubba ran a 10.7 in the 100. The world record holder, Jesse Owens, ran a 10.3."
Ferrell's speed was unmatched and his teammates employed different strategies to try to beat him.
"I used to tell him that I could outrun him in the 100 if he gave me a 10-yard head start," MacQuirter said. "At 20 yards, he was passing me."
Scarborough employed a simpler game plan.
"I tried to trip him," Scarborough said.
MacQuirter took care of the longer distances.
"He ran the 440 and 880," Scarborough said. "He had the prettiest running legs there's ever been on a man."
Scarborough remembers the team motto from 1953, instilled in them by Godwin, also a Georgia graduate and a member of the school's 1943 Rose Bowl team.
"He used to say: 'suck that gut up, set back and strike'," Scarborough said.
MacQuirter remembers traveling to the state tournament under unusual circumstances.
"Jordan and Columbus went together on the same bus," MacQuirter said.
"That was pretty unusual because our schools didn't get along at that time. But it all went well and we had a lot of fun."
Phil Clark, who graduated in 1955, played football for Godwin. His memories involve Godwin's passion for conditioning.
"We might not have been ready as far as the plays were concerned," Clark said. "But we were always in shape. When he punished us, we would have to run around the tennis courts, which was at least 200 yards. We did it 5 times before we could take a break."
Opal Godwin recalled her late husband's humble beginnings in rural Arkansas. He was raised by his grandparents in the farming community of Blytheville.
"It was a real football town," Goodwin said. "He cared deeply for his boys."