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Big westside weekend at UT, Foundry
Floyd earns Distinguished Service Award for decades of volunteer work with FHS football

In addition to thousands of volunteer service hours given to Farragut High School football, Clyde Floyd has been a flexible figure on the FHS sidelines for decades. Either by stretching chains or getting involuntary stretched out on the turf and bouncing back.

Bob Kesling, the Voice of University of Tennessee football and men’s basketball, said “Farragut would never lose a measurement” with Floyd on the chain gang.

Kesling’s comment as emcee came prior to Floyd being honored as one of five George L. Hunter Distinguished Service Award recipients during the East Tennessee Chapter, National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame 2007 Awards Banquet in The Foundry Saturday, March 31. Floyd, a former Admiral player (Class of 1952) and U.S. Navy veteran, was honored for contributions to high school football dating back to the 1950s.

A 45-year veteran of the chain gang, “We put an inner tube, a piece of rubber, in the middle of the chain, and when we’d play other teams we’d stretch the chain about ten yards and three or four feet,” Floyd said in jest, following the ceremony, about giving the Admirals an extra edge. “Then, when we’d measure for the blue team, we’d ease it back in to a true ten yards.”

Saying he was “happy” upon hearing news of the award, Floyd labeled it “a great [honor] on the twilight of my career, so to speak.”

It’s the second award Floyd has earned from the foundation, having also been honored with a Distinguished Community Service Award in the early 1980s.

“Clyde has given so much of his time to our program, over fifty years,” said FHS head coach Eddie Courtney, who’s known Floyd since first arriving as an FHS assistant in 1977. “He’s a guy who played for Farragut High School. And all those years since then he’s always cared about our athletic program, especially football. He’s done anything we’ve ever asked him to do.

“He’s done it in a positive way. He did it because he cared about the kids,” Courtney added. “Anything he can do to help make the coaches’ job be easier. On Friday nights he does so much to make sure the game goes without any kind of problem there. He does it because he has a love to do it, and no one’s ever had to ask him to do it.

“It’s incredible to have someone like that give all those years to our program.”

Floyd is the last surviving member of a well-known chain crew familiar to long-time FHS fans along the sidelines each fall Friday.

Floyd has his share of post-playing days battle scars on the sidelines

During a game in Athens against McMinn County “about six or eight years ago ... I was carrying the playboard for ’em, a whole bunch of papers ... I didn’t see the runningback for McMinn County, and he just run me down like a freight train, run up my body,” Floyd said. “Then, instead of going around me back on the field, he ran down me.

“And the first thing I see, I look to the right, and Doctor [Gerald] McKenzie’s dying laughing,” Floyd added about the former FHS team physician. “I yelled at him [about] why he didn’t come and check on me, I could have been hurt. He said, ‘I was just lookin’ at all those papers floating in the air settling down on top of yah.’”

Though only shaken up, “the cleat marks stayed around a long time.”

A shoulder separation against Campbell County in the late 1990s “with too many cleat marks to count,” the honoree added, happened when former Admiral standout and ex-University of Michigan player Sean Sanderson slung a quarterback Floyd’s way.

“Next thing I knew I was face down breathing dust, I could see dust coming up,” Floyd said.

A broken wrist resulted from a collision with a Powell player earlier this decade.

Though saying he’s “getting to the stage where I need to wind down a little bit,” Floyd announced he’s putting finishing touches on a publication honoring 60 years of Farragut Football (1947-2007) with hundreds of facts, figures — such as team and individual statistics, team and individual awards and trivia — plus a yearly list of game results.

A release date is set sometime in early 2008, Floyd added.

“Almost daily he comes in with something to challenge you about,” Courtney said. “Something he either found out about us, tries to see if you could do something about, things about the program or somebody you play, or game stat. Or this kid’s doing what that played here ten years ago.”

(See related award picture, page 1)


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