29 years, pop Marler was a vital part of Choctawhatchee High
School, and no discussion of the traditions of the history
of the school would be complete without mentioning Pop.
In the fall of 1953, Pop began wearing a headdress
to football games. The following year, booster club parents
purchased Pop a complete Indian outfit which he wore to pep
rallies and to games. Often, his wife would join him.
As Pop grew older and had difficulty standing
throughout the games, students in the wood shop made him
a throne-like chair to sit in on the sidelines. Even as he
grew older, Pop attended pep rallies and made a speech each
time. He always ended with, “And God bless each and
every one of you.”
Bill Martin, a 1975 grad who is currently an art teacher
and coach at Choctaw, has fond memories of Pop when Martin
was a member of the football team.
“He was a terrific guy. He made everyone
feel up and happy when he was around. One special thing he
did was to give all the senior cheerleaders and players bibles
at the end of the season,” Martin said.
Unfortunately, current students have not had
the pleasure of knowing Pop. He died in 1981, but his memory
and the important role he played at Choctaw will continue
through the years.
This picture still hangs in the gymnasium,
depicting Pop reaching to the heavens...or perhaps just
raising his arms to signal another Indian three-pointer