Tribute to Football Great Pete Young
Chandos “Pete” Young was not only one of the greatest football players to ever play for Bluefield College, but arguably one of the nation’s most prolific running backs of his time.
October 18, 2013
Members of the Pete Young family -- (front, left) Al Young, (front, second from left) Margie Young and (front, right) Marchan Young -- sign a scholarship document creating the Pete Young 'Mr. Touchdown' Football Endowed Scholarship at Bluefield College to provide vital financial aid to Rams football players and to pay tribute to Pete Young, a 1933 BC football player who led the nation in scoring.
Marchan Young (front left) places a "#2" emblem on the helmet of BC football player Joel Calfee (backright), while head football coach Ordell Walker looks on. Calfee and all other future Rams football players who wear jersey #2 will sport the #2 emblem ontheir helmet as a tribute to Chandos Albert "Pete" Young, who led BC to an undefeated season in 1933 and who led the nation in scoring with 128 points.
In an effort to promote and preserve that legacy, Bluefield College and the Young family established two permanent tributes to Pete Young during a Homecoming football game, Saturday, October 12.
During a pre-game ceremony before the Rams battled Belhaven University in a Homecoming Mid-South Conference contest, the children of Pete Young signed a scholarship document creating the Pete Young “Mr. Touchdown” Football Endowed Scholarship. With gifts from the family, the scholarship fund will provide vital financial assistance to BC football players, and as an endowed scholarship it will serve as a lasting tribute to Pete Young.
“The family’s seed gifts will be invested and will remain in perpetuity,” said BC’s Annette Tabor, associate vice president for advancement. “Only the earnings from the principal will be made available as scholarships, which means the original amount remains indefinitely, and annual scholarship gifts are given as a tribute to Pete Young forever.”
Joining in the ceremony was the first scholarship recipient Richard Johnson, a junior wide receiver from Orange, California.
“It means a lot to me to receive this scholarship,” said Johnson, “because he (Pete Young) was part of the foundation of football at Bluefield College. When I made the trip from California to Bluefield, I wasn’t sure I would be able to stay. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to afford it. But, when they presented me with this scholarship, it allowed me to stay. I’m grateful.”
As a second permanent tribute to Pete Young, the college also unveiled a “#2” emblem to be worn on the helmet of the current BC football player who wears jersey #2, Joel Calfee.
“It’s a great honor,” said Calfee, a sophomore wide receiver from Athens, West Virginia. “Pete Young was a great football player, and I’m glad I can be a part of something that preserves his legacy so that it never dies.”
Pete Young’s daughter Marchan Young joined her sister Margie Young and brother Albert Young in participating in the scholarship signing and helmet ceremony. Marchan Young enjoyed the honor of placing the #2 emblem on Calfee’s helmet.
“I’ve been emotional all day long,” she said about the festivities leading up to the scholarship signing and helmet ceremony. “Putting the #2 on that helmet just made me want to cry.”
The emblem will remain on Calfee’s helmet for the remainder of the 2013 season and on the helmet of all future players who sport #2.
“This is great,” said Margie Young about the establishment of the permanent tributes to her father. “It helps us realize that his legacy will continue. These young men (Richardson and Calfee) have been so appreciative and so humble. They seem truly honored to receive the scholarship and to wear the #2 on their helmet.”
Chandos Albert “Pete” Young was the nation’s leading scorer during his 1933 season at Bluefield College. As a running back, he scored 128 points while leading BC to its first and only undefeated season. The nation honored Pete Young with a ceremony emceed by Lowell Thomas, who hosted the first-ever television newsbroadcast in 1930. During the ceremony, Rudy Vallee, a popular singer, actor, bandleader and entertainer of the 1930s, performed the song “Mr. Touchdown USA,” written in honor of Pete Young.
After Bluefield College, Pete Young went on to play college football at Waynesburg College in Pennsylvania, Morris Harvey College in Charleston, West Virginia, and Fordham University in New York, where he scored the first televised touchdown. After college, he played professional football for the Tulsa Oilers in the American Football League. His athletic career ended due to injuries sustained in the South Pacific during World War II for which he was awarded the Purple Heart.
Soon after, Pete Young became a Methodist minister, pastoring for 30 years in West Virginia and North Carolina. He also served as assistant director for the Paul Anderson Youth Home, a facility for troubled teens in Georgia. He died in 1994.
“After listening to his children talk about him, Pete Young was the kind of man you wish you had known,” said Tabor. “You can tell his children loved and admired him. His legacy of helping others lives on through them. All three are involved in making an impact on others by the career paths they have chosen and now by the establishment of this scholarship.”
Marchan Young is a regional director with Salvation Army. Margie Young is a retired director of special projects with the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, and Albert Young is the director of a residential drug and alcohol recovery facility in Georgia.
“Daddy would have loved this,” said Margie Young. “Bluefield College meant a lot to him. He never talked about his achievement as ‘Mr. Touchdown’ without also crediting Bluefield College.”
Mr. Touchdown USA, sung by Rudy Vallee, 1933, a tribute to BC’s Pete Young
“They always call him Mr. Touchdown. They always call him Mr. T. He can run and kick and throw. Give him the ball and just look at him go! Hip hip hooray for Mr. Touchdown. He’s gonna beat ‘em today. So, give a great big cheer for the hero of the year, Mr. Touchdown, USA.”
Listen to Mr. Touchdown USA
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