Junction Boys Talk About A&M's Move to the SEC

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

It's a reunion these former players enjoy more than most. Several members of the Junction Boys got together before A&M's game against Idaho to talk about old times and everything that's happened in the 57 years since Coach Bear Bryant took the team to Junction, Texas for one of the toughest football camps in the sports history.

"For the Junction Boys group, it's a chance to get together. You know we're all scattered out so much and we're friends but we don't get to see each other all that often so this makes a good chance to get together and say hello and check up on the health status of everybody," said former Houston Oilers head coach Jack Pardee.

"The stories get bigger and worse and we lie more than we used to and the next thing you know it gets all blown out of proportion, " joked Marvin Tate, member of the Class of 1955.

Their passion for Aggie football remains strong in these men and they believe Coach Sherman is the reason for A&M's return to prominence.

"I think he's doing an outstanding job and when to stop to evaluate the program and where we are right now, it looks like we have a chance," said Tate.

"I think we're heading in the right direction. I think Coach Sherman has brought it discipline and he has identified expectations," said Norbert "Dutch" Ohlendorf.

Then there's the biggest topic of conversation, Texas A&M's move to the SEC. For these men, some of whom won a Southwest Conference Championship with the Aggies, the opinions are all over the board.

"I think it's exciting and there are a lot of possibilities. I also think there are a lot of pros and cons. You can sit really and take either side of that because it's going to be a whole lot of a different situation each week when you play Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and on and on and on," said Tate.

"It's all about money. A&M is not going to be left behind when it comes to raising money or doing anything else and being a part of that conference is going to be the best conference in the country and I'd rather have seen the Southwest Conference survive but it didn't do it so, hey go for the money. They'll be on TV every week and we'll get to see them," said Pardee.

"In one sense, I'm disappointed. There's long ties with Texas, Baylor and Texas Tech and we'll leave behind some rivalries but we'll have new ones," said Ohlendorf.

It's those traditions that some Aggies are worried about but don't count in Marvin Tate who served as the Aggie Athletics Director from 1978 to 1981.

"You know traditions die sometimes. If you look at a situation and you evaluate it and it looks like it's a better advantage for your situation, you've got to do it. I'm glad I'm not out there any more and I don't have to make those decisions," said Tate.

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