Bluefield honors Parkersburg native

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – A Parkersburg native has been honored as one of the greatest football players to play at Bluefield College.

The college and the family of Chandos “Pete” Young have created two permanent tributes to Young during its Homecoming football game on Oct. 12.

Young was born in Parkersburg in 1912.

The Pete Young “Mr. Touchdown” Football Endowed Scholarship was created with gifts from the family.

The fund will provide financial assistance to Bluefield College football players. 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 Annette Tabor, associate vice president for advancement at the college. “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 homecoming ceremony was the first scholarship recipient, Richard Johnson, a junior wide receiver from Orange, Calif.

“It means a lot to me to receive this scholarship,” Johnson said. “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 Young, the college also unveiled a “2” emblem to be worn on the helmet of the football player who wears jersey No. 2, Joel Calfee.

“It’s a great honor,” said Calfee, a sophomore wide receiver from Athens, W.Va. “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 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 No. 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 Rams players who sport No. 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.”

Young was the nation’s leading scorer during his 1933 season at Bluefield College. As a running back, he scored 128 points while leading the college to its first and only undefeated season.

The nation honored 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.

Young was born in Parkersburg in 1912.

After Bluefield College, Young went on to play college football at Waynesburg (Pa.) College, Morris Harvey College at Charleston, W.Va., 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, 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.”