|By Kyle Lovern, Williamson Daily News, W.Va.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Back in 1969 Slater and his WVU teammates went up against a border rival, the Kentucky Wildcats.
When the game was over, Slater had picked off four passes from his defensive back position, including a "Hail Mary" on the game's final play to help defeat the Wildcats 7-6.
Slater had some extra incentive going into the contest. Since he grew up in the Tug Valley on the Kentucky border, he knew a lot of diehard
"I remember the summer before that season I saw
"He put his arm around me and said 'Slater, you know we play you this year. I hope you have a good game, but I hope Kentucky wins,' Slater recalls. "Of course we won the game 7-6."
Slater remembers that the weather was horrible and it rained the entire game at old
"It rained like crazy," Slater said.
"There were a lot of turnovers in the game," he recalled. "I can still remember that game quite vividly. I think we had six interceptions in the game and recovered a couple of fumbles."
Slater said then safety
"I remember the first person I saw when we walked off the field was big
Kestner congratulated his fellow Tug Valley area resident. Kestner was a big tight end who played for the Cats from 1963-65.
The four interception game is probably Slater's most fond memory of his great career at WVU. But, he has many other good memories.
He intercepted two passes against arch rival Pitt in his sophomore season.
In 1969 he and his Mountaineer teammates won the Peach Bowl upsetting a heavily favored South Carolina team.
That season the Mountaineers went 10-1, with their only loss coming to Penn State.
"In the last game of the regular season against Syracuse I was knocked out," Slater recalls. "I had a bad concussion and didn't remember a lot heading into that game. I didn't even recall the trip up there."
But, he recovered and helped WVU beat the
Former star running back
WVU's defense held their opponent to only a third period field goal.
"It rained during that game too," Slater recollects. "They let us go out and check out the field the night before. I remember thinking how nice the field was with the fresh cut grass. It was one of the nicest fields we would have played on. But, it rained the entire game."
Slater said by halftime their uniforms were a muddy mess, covered with brown muck from head to toe.
He remembers that former Mountain State Governor
"When South Carolina came out of the dressing room after halftime, they had new, clean uniforms on," Slater recalls. But it didn't matter; the Mountaineers were too much for the Gamecocks on that day.
This was an era where there were only a handful of bowl games. To make it to a post season game and to win one was something very special.
WVU only had one pick in the bowl game. Slater batted the ball away from the receiver and Pobulish came up with the interception.
Slater was a 3-sport standout for the Wolfpack in the mid-1960s. He played football, basketball and baseball, graduating in 1967.
He was recruited to WVU by Coach
But, the move to cornerback was a good one for WVU and Slater.
He then went on to have a stellar career for West Virginia and played varsity football for three seasons. (Freshmen were not eligible to play during that era.)
Carlen left after the Peach Bowl win and assistant coach
These days the former Wolfpack standout is enjoying retirement in
He later became a
"I play a lot of golf now," Slater said of his retirement years. "I try to play on Monday, Wednesday and Friday."
Every April some fellow WHS grads, who head down south for a visit, get together and hit the links with Slater. That is always an enjoyable time for him and they can reminisce about the good old days.
He and his wife Susie are active in church and Slater teaches Sunday School.
The couple also enjoys riding their motorcycle around the vacation community.
Slater says he still keeps up with the local area, WVU sports and the
He has many countless memories of his days of playing for the Wolfpack and the Mountaineers.
Slater is a true legend when it comes to athletics in both
(c)2014 Williamson Daily News (Williamson, W.Va.)
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