All four Myers Park players nominated for the 1965 Shrine Bowl went to college on football scholarships. Besides Kirkpatrick, who played at Purdue:
• Quarterback Neb Hayden played for coach Bear Bryant at Alabama for two seasons. He became an associate of the International Foundation, an organization that helps develop agriculture, education, health, social development and environment in other countries. He lives in Gainesville, Ga.
• Mack Tharpe played linebacker at South Carolina, leading the Gamecocks in tackles in 1969. He lives in Greenwood, S.C., where he is in the flooring business.
• End Harris Woodside also went to South Carolina. A knee injury in his freshman season ended his football career. Woodside lives in Columbia and owns Woodside & Associates, a computer technology and systems integration firm.
The players and other members of the 1965 Myers Park football team gathered in January for a Charlotte Observer photo and to remember. Hayden said that season changed his life. Kirkpatrick was the first black person he got to know well. Hayden remembers they came to his home between two-a-day practices and sometimes fell asleep on his bed.
Hayden was involved in racial reconciliation efforts in Selma, Ala. He also met in Washington with activists Dick Gregory, Rosie Grier and Coretta Scott King.
We talked about this whole issue and they said the simplest thing, Hayden said. They said if you want to make an impact in the lives across racial issues, youve got to become friends socially ... Youve got to have me over to your house ... We need to hear each others story and that will make the difference.