That’s how long Larry “Satch” Sanders has played intramural flag football. More importantly, it has been over four decades of deep friendship and camaraderie built through the thrills of victory and agonies of defeat.
“Satch” Sanders may be on the verge of retirement, but his impact and legacy will endure in the hearts and minds of the men of Frater Sodalis.
Chartered in 1943, the number 43 holds great significance to the men of Frater Sodalis.
“If I retire in the 40th or 45th season, that’s kind of about me,” said Sanders, senior advisor for Frater Sodalis. “If I retire on the 43rd season, that focuses the attention on the entity and organization that has made it all possible, that is my membership and advisership for Frater Sodalis.”
Sanders’ dedication and loyalty to family, football and relationships with the men of Frater Sodalis defines him, said Matthew Solomon, junior information technology major from Round Rock and president of Frater Sodalis.
“To be a teammate has it’s own very, very special dynamic,” Sanders said. “That’s what I treasure so much. The camaraderie, the shared joy, frustration, excitement and all of those dynamics that are part of team sports.”
Sanders cherishes these deep, robust relationships fostered through football. He decided after retiring from intramural football, he would also step down from his position as senior advisor to Frater Sodalis.
“Without being able to share that special friendship of team, it was time for me to walk away from all of it and retire from my position as advisor,” he said. “This was my year to go out in one fell swoop.”
“Loyal, completely loyal to his friends and Frats,” said Kyle Pinson, Frat alum and director of intramural sports.
Loyalty, dedication and investment were the traits repeated again and again by students and peers in reference to Sanders. His genuine nature resonated with students and peers.
“He’s a friend of mine, honestly,” said Kyle Bowen a junior youth and family ministry and biblical text major from Grass Valley, California and officer of Frater Sodalis. “Even with the huge age gap, he’s a fun guy to be around. But he’s also a mentor, with all his years of wisdom and experience.”
Tellingly, the reverse is also true. Sanders embraces his teammates as friends, bound by the brotherhood of sport, creating life memories play after play.
“It’s bittersweet,” said Mark Jackson, associate director of student organizations and programs. “He gets it. He gets why social clubs exist. You are not going to find a bigger supporter of social clubs as a whole.”
Sanders reinforced the importance of social clubs and how they foster the “continuity of friendship.” In his unique case, he highlighted the shared experience of a team as the die which cast lifelong friendships. These friendships transcend the generations between Sanders and the students of today, but also transcend the years that have passed since his time playing intramural football as a student.
“Two of my kids are named after guys I played football with in Frats,” he said. “It is really, really special in that regard, that I would honor those friendships by naming children after guys I was in club with.”
Tim Yandell, advisor to Frater Sodalis and vice president of development for Big Brothers Big Sisters, considers Sanders to be one of his closest friends.
Yandell pledged Frater Sodalis in the spring of 1983 and quickly met Sanders who was already an advisor. Yandell bonded with Sanders through club and football before becoming an advisor after he graduated. Yandell interacts and corresponds with many of alumni, often coordinating fundraising efforts.
“We just love him, and our alumni love and respect him,” Yandell said. “It will be a sad time for all of us when “Satch” isn’t playing on the field.”