University of Tennessee’s 101st Football Homecoming – Remembering Quarterback Jimmy Streater

The weekend of November 4, 2017 will be filled with past and present University of Tennessee (UT) Volunteers returning to Knoxville, Tennessee for the 101st Football Homecoming. There will be many activities throughout the weekend, including; parades, park activities, UT Singer concert, Sorority and Fraternity Reunions and watching the Alumni Marching Band. The finale of the weekend will be the excitement in Neyland Stadium when UT takes on Southern Mississippi. There is no place like Big Orange Country for the fun of cheering loudly for your home team and singing “Rocky Top”!

Renee Sudderth being surprised by Former UT Vols Basketball Player, Steve Ray at Neyland Stadium with all the football excitement – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth (Sept 30, 2017)

As the weekend approaches, I can’t help but think about some of the individual talents of the past that came together to achieve victories in more ways than one under the leadership of the Legendary, 82 year old Coach Johnny Majors (1977-1992). As life presses on to the finish line, I always wondered what happened to the group of guys in the late 70’s who made a difference in UT sports during the time that integration was changing lives in sports and life in general.

“Vols 4 Life” gathering in Memphis, TN (2016) to celebrate former teammate Brian Ingram who was a player in Super Bowl XX for the New England Patriots in 1985 – Left & around the table- Brian Ingram, Steve Davis, Jeff Moore, Larry Mays, Carlton Peoples, Chris Bolton, Gerald Hunt, Wilbert Jones and Jesse Briggs – Photo Courtesy of Brian Ingram

 

Even though Condredge Holloway was the first black quarterback at UT (1972-1974), I remember the quick, smart, exciting, tall, lean, nice looking quarterback player from Sylvia, North Caroline by the name of Jimmy Streater known as the “Sylva Streak” or “Bird” who became an All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) Player. During his brilliant career (1976-1979), Jimmy became UT All-Time Leader in passing (3,433 yards) and total offense (4,807 yards) until last year when Quarterback Joshua Dodd broke his record. Now, Josh will be setting his own records for the National Football League (NFL), Pittsburg Steelers.

Streater’s teammate, Jesse Briggs said, “Off the field, Jimmy was a nice, up-beat person, always wore a smile, very comical and loved his family”. Others said they will never forget his UT years and his professional career in the Canadian Toronto League with the Toronto Argonauts. My best friend, Jeanine Orange-Jackson and I had the privilege of taking pictures with him and he was really nice to us.

UT Legend Jimmy Streater and Fan Jeanine Orange-Jackson on his last day of being a Senior for UT against Vanderbilt before turning pro for the Canadian Toronto League – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth (Dec 1, 1979)

If Jimmy Streater was still living today, I know he would have been at the UT Homecoming game and he would have been 60 years old on Dec 17, 2017. Instead, he left us at age 46 on February 20, 2004 with many aliments that included a stroke, leg amputation, arm amputation, diabetes and being paralyzed on his left side.

 

Another ironic twist in Jimmy’s life was his younger brother Steve Streater, who was a star football player as a Punter and Defensive Back for the 1980 Atlantic Coast Conference Champions, the North Caroline Tar Heels.

 

He had just signed a deal with the NFL’s Washington Redskins when a car accident left him paralyzed also. I know it had to be hard on their parents to have two sons who were star football players and both became paralyzed.

Jimmy Streater Book

Order Jimmy Streater’s Book here

The Streater’s hometown folks said Steve continued to enjoy life from his wheelchair by still attending his high school and college football games. But at age 50 on June 19, 2009, Steve was also sideline from the game of life.

 

For those near Jimmy’s age, we are moving into our 4th quarter of our lives. I hope no one ever forgets the Streaters and others who made a difference in this life whether it was the sports or a life contribution.  Some of Jimmy’s former teammates who help changed UT Football over 40 years ago are still living and holding onto that brotherhood, which they still share today. 

“Vols 4 Life”- Holding on to their true meaning of brotherhood by visiting teammate/patient Otis Lee Burton; Left Side – Brian Ingram and Anthony Hancock; Right Side – Marcus Starling, Dwight Wilson, Steve Davis and Chris Bolton – Photo Courtesy of Marcus Starling

I enjoy listening to the stories of how they support one another in bad times and good times. Since I was younger than these guys, I was always taking photos of them and the photos mean more today than in days gone by.

Two Legends Jimmy Streater and Roland James (1st Round Pick for the New England Patriots for 11 years including some years with former UT teammates Brian Ingram and Stanley Morgan) posing with teenager fan Renee Sudderth on their last game as College Players on Dec 1, 1979 – Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

 

All of us have had setbacks in our lives but if we are still alive we can still make a difference and make our comebacks. The Streater brothers can no longer do that but through their memories and legacy, they remain an inspiration. So stay in the game of life and do what you can do. Because one day we all will be thinking about you, in the same way I’m remembering Jimmy Streater and Steve Streater, here during Homecoming.

 

Now let’s reflect on a few “Vols 4 Life” former teammates of the great Jimmy Streater and see how God continues to bless their lives.

 

Stephen “Steve” L. Davis – (L) After his UT Defensive End career, he has earned many titles including the Founder and President of the Will Group, Tuskegee NEXT Chairman and recently received the 2017 Distinguished Citizen Award and etc; (R) The Legendary Jimmy Streater returning to the Stadium as a visitor (Nov 1981) – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Jesse Briggs – Wore #31 as a Running Back who injury changed his life path and recently  celebrated 20 years as a Pastor in Memphis, Tennessee with his beautiful First Lady Johnnie Briggs and congregation– Photo Courtesy of Jesse Briggs

Bobby King – Played Quarterback one year after Jimmy Streater years but received an injury with his new path in life being an Elder of a Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth (May 1980)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Bolton – Wore #61 as a Linebacker had 241 tackles in his UT career but became a Top Supervisor for the City of Atlanta – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth (Nov 1981)

 

James “JB” Berry – A great Running Back who received an injury but passed on his father and coaching skills to all three sons who became UT Vols; Eric (Kansas City Chiefs), twins Evans and Elliott Berry (currently) – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth (Nov 1981)

 

Lee Jenkins- Wore #1 as a Safety and drafted by the New York Giants who now holds many titles as President and CEO of Lee Jenkins Financial, Author, Pastor and is currently running for Mayor of Roswell in Georgia (suburb of Atlanta) while his sister, Sonya Jenkins, an Actress, Author & Publisher remains a loyal supporter – Photo Courtesy of Sonya Jenkins
Brian Ingram – (gold suit) became a New England Patriot winning the AFC Championship but fell short of the Super Bowl Ring against the Chicago Bears in 1985 but is enjoying his retirement years with his “Vols 4 Life” family and friends; Left Side – Byron Ingram, BRIAN INGRAM, Steve Davis, James “JB” Berry, Reggie Johnson (SEC Champion-Tennessee, NBA Champion-Philadelphia, Ram Joventut FIBA Korac Cup Champion-Spain) Right Side – Chris Bolton, Jamiel Hampton, Brian Ingram II and Renee Sudderth – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth (Oct 29, 2017)

 

Chris Cawood, Author of The Jimmy Streater Story and Renee Sudderth, Photojournalist of the On-Line Splash Magazine remembering Jimmy Streater, both discuss their triumph victory in telling Jimmy’s story while God and the Streater brothers shine down on them and say “Well Done” – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

 

 

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30 Comments

  1. Thanks for those great memories, thanks for all those who wore those UT uniforms and thanks to those screaming true Vol Fans.

  2. I learn so much from you and I’m so grateful that you shared this with me. Go. Vols❣️❣️❣️May God continue to use you to share history in life and in photography and words❤️♥️♥️❤️❤️

  3. Thank you for the walk down Memory Lane. I remember Bird and Kelsey Finch coming to my home in Knoxville. Last time I saw #6

    • Thanks Bobby!! I bet Jimmy passed on some Quarterbacks tips to you since you followed right behind him. Continue to hold onto those great memories of your UT days and #6.

    • Thank you so much Sonya!!! Yes, we need to know what became of these great group of guys from their late 70’s college days.

  4. What a magnificent story honoring the late great Jimmy Streater. We had so much fun back in the day. Jimmy was so nice, humble and that beautiful smile would light up the room. Gone too soon! Rest in Paradise #6 and thanks for the memories!!!

  5. This is a beautiful reflection of what was and still is for some players and fans!! UT football is interesting to study and you have done a great job of teaching some of Tennessee Vols History. Thank you for a fantastic article and photos!! from your favorite Fan!! Auntie Deborah

  6. Anthony Richardson; Nov 3, 2017 – Awesome story. I forgot about the Streater brother at UNC. A girl from my High School married the other Streater brother that is still living. Keep up the good work.

  7. Sally Daly; Nov 3, 2017 – Very nice article and enjoyed seeing all the pictures too. Loved seeing you and Jeanine too.

  8. Cammie Davenport Woodle, Nov 4, 2017 – Nice article Renee-you covered a lot of ground! I see you’ve been covering UTK sports for a while-nice gig. Keep up the good work!

  9. Caroline Tate, Nov 6, 2017 – I enjoyed your Splash article. Great job! I spoke to someone who went to the Homecoming on Saturday and their reply was “had a ball”. I told them about your article.

  10. Joey Thompson, Nov 8, 2017 – Hi Renee, thanks for keeping me on your mailing list. Always something interesting in Splash Magazine

  11. Chris Cawood, Nov 9, 2017 – You did good!! I forwarded to several family members. I saw the book advertisement. Thanks for the 15 book orders. Keep up the good work.

  12. Junie Dee Davenport, Nov 11, 2017 – Awesome! Took me back down memory lane. I forgot all about Bobby King and Lee Jenkins. Wow great memories and to think 40 years ago. WOW!

  13. Vicky Powell, Nov 13, 2017 – I just read the article. Great Story. I never heard of Jimmy Streater but kudos for keeping his legacy alive.

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