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1973 Football Team Returns to Lynchburg
The pioneers of Liberty's football program returned to campus for the weekend of the Flames' first football home game of 2013 against Monmouth (Sept. 7) as Liberty Athletics celebrated 40 Years of Football by holding a reunion of its 1973 football team.
Liberty's first football program posted a 3-3 record under the program's head coach Lee "Rock" Royer. Liberty, known as Lynchburg Baptist College at the time, won the last three games of its inaugural campaign, including the program's first-ever victory over Ferrum on Oct. 25 (29-7).
Twenty players, three coaches and two administrators returned for the festive weekend, which began with a reunion dinner in the Donor Room of the Williams Football Operations Center on Sept. 6.
During the dinner, several members of the coaching staff and players spoke, including Chip Smith, who scored Liberty's first-ever touchdown against Massanutten Military on Sept. 27, 1973. Smith, a Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame member who rushed for 2,617 yards and 24 touchdowns during his career, helped to spearhead the reunion effort, along with David Brown and David Neff.
The group of returning players, coaches and administrators was also honored following the first quarter of the Flames' 45-15 victory over Monmouth. During the contest, the reunion members were the first-ever special guests in the new 71 Club, Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr.'s new suite area on the fifth floor of the Williams Stadium Tower.
The Liberty Flames Sports Network followed the founding members of the Flames' football program throughout the weekend and provided today's 40 Years of Football celebration video package.
Returning members of the Lynchburg Baptist College 1973 football program who returned for the returning weekend included:
1973 Football Players
Bob Bonheim (DL)
John Cartwright (Off. Coord.)
Marvin Wood (OL)
Dave Davis (Athletics Director)