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Brent Beyer ’80 and Rhonda Martell P’07 tie knot with assist from John “Bruiser” Kinard ’52

A passion for Lafayette football and a fellow graduate brought two alumni to the altar.

Brent Beyer ’80, a former standout inside linebacker for Lafayette’s football team, has made a habit of flying up to watch a couple home games every year with his good friend Gary Uzelak ’80, the team’s former quarterback. In 2004, Beyer had read that strong safety and fellow Floridian Trey Martell ’07 was starting on defense as a first-year student. Beyer called his home to volunteer to deliver anything to him that the family wanted him to have. Martell’s mother, Rhonda, thanked Beyer for the offer, but said that she and a friend attended all home games.

The pair kept running into each other at the football games, where they had casual chats about Trey and living in Florida. Then at the Lafayette-Lehigh telecast party in Florida hosted by Bill Harding ’58, they finally had a chance to get to know each other better.

Beyer remembers watching the 2005 Lafayette-Lehigh game on TV when, on the last play of the game with the Leopards losing, running back Jonathan Hurt ’07 (Martell’s roommate) caught a pass from quarterback Pat Davis ’06 and scored the winning touchdown.

“As the stadium erupted,” Beyer says, “the cameras panned the bleachers and focused on a woman who was jumping up and down and nearly fell over the railing. It was Rhonda.”

Just before the kickoff of that game, devoted Leopard football fan John “Bruiser” Kinard ’52 spotted a woman wearing a Leopard football jersey with Martell’s number. He said, “You must be Trey’s mother.” During their conversation, Kinard mentioned Beyer, and Martell noted that she been trying to contact him about his offer to help her son find a summer job in Florida. She added, “Please ask him to call me.”

When Beyer called Rhonda, “We talked for over three hours. It was amazing,” he said. They were married in January 2007 in Florida in a gazebo, with Uzelak and teammate Dave Heverling ’07 looking on and Kinard, a retired Evangelical Lutheran Church in America minister, officiating.

“Without John’s encouragement, it may never have happened,” Beyer says. Kinard calls it “the Florida football wedding of unintended consequences.”

Categorized in: Alumni