CLOVER — Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series of articles on Clover residents and their connection to the community, to mark the 125th anniversary of the town this year.
Allen Boyd never asked to become part of Clover folklore. He just offered to help the Clover High School football team in a bind.
Boyd — the longtime voice of the Clover Blue Eagles – clearly remembers that Friday night 50 years ago. He was volunteering as a spotter in the press box at Memorial Stadium – the job entailed calling out the jersey numbers of the athletes involved in each play.
But on this particular Friday, the person tasked with calling play-by-play over the loudspeakers for fans couldn’t be found.
“The person who was supposed to do it didn’t show up,” Boyd recalls. “So they asked me.”
He never looked back. Every home football game for the next 45 years was highlighted by Boyd’s baritone carrying across the metal bleachers.
“I enjoyed every moment of it,” Boyd said during an interview from his home off Bethel Street.
Boyd performed the job as a volunteer, giving up time as an insurance salesman for Liberty Life to call the games on Friday nights. “I probably paid them more than they ever paid me,” he quipped. “Had to even buy my own drinks every Friday.”
Boyd, 83, retired from the gig a few years ago. But he held the post long enough to share in Clover’s greatest triumph: a S.C. High School Football Championship.
Boyd called every game for the Blue Eagles in 2007, when the team’s fearsome wing-T rushing attack won York County’s Region 3-AAAA conference and then bulldozed its way through the playoffs for the first title in school history.
“I was calling plays that whole season — it was so special,” he said. “I was so proud of them — glad I got to see that.”
The achievement resonated across Clover. But for longtime faithful such as Boyd, it punctuated a lifetime of commitment to the community. Boyd graduated from Clover High in 1949.
“That was the most schoolin’ I had,” he said. “They were glad to get rid of me.”
He went on to marry his wife of 60 years, Rachel. And they raised their family in Clover, the town where they both grew up.
“I am Clover,” Boyd said. “My family, on both sides, is all over this town.”
In retirement, Boyd still makes the short drive to the stadium on Friday nights. The team has struggled the past two years, as new coaches have struggled to maintain the discipline that made the 2007 squad victorious.
But it hasn’t undercut Boyd’s passion for his team or hometown.
“Last season made me sick. I was heartbroken,” he said of the team’s winless season in 2012. “But I know they’ll turn it around. This is a special place.”