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HomeSportsInstant Peay Play: Austin Peay friendship renewed after 30 years

Instant Peay Play: Austin Peay friendship renewed after 30 years

Legends Bank, Clarksville TNClarksville, TN – Anyone that knows me knows that I’ve been involved with Austin Peay and Governors athletics for a long, long time – 1979 to be exact – and this past weekend at the Govs football game versus Eastern Kentucky a friendship that began back in the early 1980’s was resumed like no time had passed.

Scott Barker, from Kingston in east Tennessee, came to Austin Peay in 1982 to play football for then new head coach Emory Hale – who was hired after winning several state championships at Oak Ridge High School.

Scott Barker
Scott Barker

“I worked with coach Hale on the side when I was at Kingston with Oak Ridge being right down the road,” Barker said. “When he got the job at Austin Peay he reached out to a lot of east Tennessee kids with scholarships and for some like me to walk on.”

He along with fellow Kingston teammate Buddy Waldon were assigned to a dorm room in Miller Hall, that by chance had a friend of mine, Dedrick Yeargin, as a resident assistant on the floor and that led to Scott, Buddy and I meeting and becoming friends.

“I made a lot of good friends here at Austin Peay and made a lot of good memories while going to school here,” Barker said. “We were kids back then and I learned a lot about myself and about others and it was a positive experience for me.

“Being back this weekend and seeing the stadium, although it’s been renovated, brought back memories from my seeing it for the first time back then and seeing the AP on the helmets brought back memories of practicing with the guys that were here on the team then.”

Barker only went to Austin Peay for two years, before going back home, but even after not seeing each other since 1984 when I got an email from him letting me know that he was coming to Clarksville for the first time since he left school I was looking forward to seeing him — an old friend from a time along ago that I think we all wish we could all go back too.

“The changes were to Clarksville and to the campus is mindboggling,” Barker said. “It looks like half the campus has been torn down and rebuild. The football stadium is fantastic and has a great atmosphere.”

I got to talk to Scott a little bit before the football game and when met him, his girlfriend and a couple of their friends from Knoxville after the game and talked late into the night – reminiscing about old times and finding out how our lives had gone.

But as the night wore on it was like the years without seeing each other never happened and the friendship that started long ago at Austin Peay and Miller Hall was still as strong as ever.

Chris Austin
Chris Austinhttp://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork.com
Chris Austin is a graduate of Clarksville High School and Austin Peay State University. Chris is a former Head Softball Coach for APSU, and assistant basketball coach for CHS. Chris has worked at the Leaf-Chronicle, and WJZM News/Talk/Sports radio. Has also worked at the Sports Information Department at APSU, and has covered championship events for the Ohio Valley Conference and NCAA. Chris is an avid sports fan and can be found at most Austin Peay State University sports events.
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