At 94 years old, Lou Sossamon tries to savor every moment these days.
It’s safe to say Sossamon, South Carolina’s oldest living letterman, will cherish the one he had Saturday when he scored a touchdown in the inaugural alumni flag football game at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Touchdowns were a rarity for Sossamon in his career as a linebacker and center with the Gamecocks, and later in professional football with the New York Yankees.
“It was the second touchdown in my career in football. I scored one touchdown when I was playing for the New York Yankees team,” said Sossamon, who was the Gamecocks’ first Associated Press All-American in 1942. “When I scored that one, I went over the goal line and threw the ball down. The coach said go back and center the ball. So I had to go back and center the ball.”
“But I enjoyed being out there today. It was a lot of fun and brought back memories.”
Sossamon’s TD came on the second play of the game, a 5-yard run in which he walked side-by-side with Corey Jenkins into the end zone. Members of both the Garnet and Black squads flooded into the end zone to celebrate with Sossamon, chanting “Lou! Lou! Lou!”
“That was absolutely great,” former Gamecocks receiver Tim Frisby said. “Getting the oldest living Gamecock a touchdown was pretty special.”
Sossamon and Frisby were one of more than 100 former Gamecock football players in the inaugural game, which was won 26-21 by the Garnet squad. Former lineman Randy Wheeler, who was paralyzed in a car accident in 1998, scored the game-winning touchdown on the final drive of the game.
New Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp came up with the idea for the game and Moe Brown, former receiver and president of the USC Association of Lettermen, helped organize it.
“Anyone that has been part of an organization wants to feel welcome when they come back,” Muschamp said Saturday. “It creates networking for our present players. I want those guys involved as much as possible.”
Former receiver Troy Williamson, a first-round pick with the Minnesota Vikings, said it was pretty competitive out there at times, but loved the idea of the game and the energy Muschamp has brought with him since he was hired in December.
“I love it, especially when you can see it first hand. You see that with everybody showed up for the spring game and the alumni coming back,” said Williamson, who lives in Evans, Ga. “It is something we want, and I’m glad coach Muschamp brought us.”