SBJ/November 5-11, 2012/Colleges

Agency to capture ‘Junction Boys’ reunion at game

Texas A&M’s entry to the SEC this season created new rivals, but because of legendary Bear Bryant, the Aggies and the University of Alabama always have enjoyed a connection.

Now, as many of Bryant’s former players get together this week for the first SEC game between A&M and Alabama, Atlanta-based MELT hopes the reunion can turn into a 30- or 60-minute special for a sports network.

“These stories need to be preserved,” MELT President Vince Thompson said.

Before the legendary coach lifted the Crimson Tide to greatness, he coached Texas A&M from 1954-57. That first recruiting class in College Station famously became known as the “Junction Boys,” a story that was retold in a movie and also a book.

Many of those Junction Boys from A&M — more than 20 of them — will be part of a reunion at the Paul W. Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa on Friday night, the night before the Aggies play at Alabama. The coach’s only son, Paul Bryant Jr., helped arrange the get-together.

“We just thought it’d be a great way to start the series between Texas A&M and Alabama,” said Dennis Goehring, a player for Bryant on that 1954 team and class leader who keeps up with the Junction Boys.

When MELT’s Thompson heard about it, he began making plans to capture the reunion and the stories of the Junction Boys on video. Like an early-days NFL Films, Thompson is committed to collecting as much content from reunions like this as he can possibly market.

He plans to tape the reunion and the introduction of the former players before the game Saturday, as well as interviews with many of the former players talking about Bear Bryant. MELT is seeking a corporate sponsor to underwrite the project.

“Part of my passion is chronicling the stories of these legends,” Thompson said. “Who knows? This might be the last chance to get all of these guys in the room and get the story straight.”

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