93-year-old woman is UA’s oldest living former quarterback
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Who’s the oldest living person to play quarterback for the University of Alabama? It’s kind of a trick question. Marie “Tot” Fikes - now Carastro - is the answer. She was at Bama in the late 1940s.
“I’m very athletic,” said Carastro. “I was told in college that I had superior motor development.”
The Tuscaloosa native would soon show off those skills. Her friends let her know about a football game on campus called the Honey Bowl.
“I think it was advertised in the newspaper or something beforehand. But it was all females. And it was intramural sports in which girls played girls from the University of Alabama,” she said.
“Tot” could play.
“We played to win. I mean we were serious when we played,”Carastro said.
It became a big event on campus. The Crimson Tide football team, the band and thousands of fans came out to watch “Tot” and the Alabama Bumble Bees. Soon she found herself leading the team at quarterback.
“My mentor was Harry Gilmer. Harry Gilmer was an Alabama football player and he also was a pro football player, so he was the one that tried to work with me on my passing,” said Carastro.
“I just remember his feet went way up off the ground when he threw, and I don’t think mine did that well,” she said.
She’s doing very well. At the age of 93, she’s the oldest person alive to play quarterback for a University of Alabama team.
“You’re kind of surprised, and you feel, ‘Well, I didn’t know I was doing that when I was doing it.’ But that’s great,” she said.
When asked if she had any Iron Bowl tips for coach Nick Saban, Carastro said, “I don’t know that I’m qualified to give any tips.”
But she will be watching, cheering on her Tide.
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