GLACIER NATIONAL PARK — Dane Slaughter was about to leave Glacier National Park without his championship ring.
The former Georgia Southern walk-on long-snapper was at the park when he somehow misplaced his 2002 Southern Conference championship ring, one of the 10 championship seasons the Eagles had before leaving the SoCon and the FCS in 2013 for the FBS’ Sun Belt Conference.
It’s not clear when Slaughter lost the ring, but the Georgia Southern football community became aware of it’s absence on Thursday night.
Bryan Johnston, Georgia Southern’s associate athletics director, said he had just gotten off work and was sitting at his kitchen table. As he checked emails and social media, a message appeared on the Eagles Football Facebook page, which isn’t unsual.
“We get a lot of messages,” he said. “Some of them are obviously bots and you can tell when they’re not real. So, I don’t look at all of them real closely because I can tell pretty quickly if they’re real or not. “
But this one was different.
“This one stood out because it was very specific in the language,” Johnston said.
Johnston first put the message out to the Eagles Football Twitter page, asking for help locating the ring’s owner. Then, Johnston looked through the media guide from that year to try and locate number associated with the ring — No. 52.
“There was no No. 52 for that team,” Johnston said. “But on that roster was one of our current assistant coaches, Vic Cabral. I called him and asked if he remembered him.”
Cabral reached out to teammates and discovered the number and the ring belonged to Slaughter. But no one had his contact information. So, Johnston put out a second update.
The emails flowed in with some saying they emailed Slaughter themselves.
The next morning, Johnston woke up to more emails. But one of them was from Slaughter himself, saying he was still in Glacier Park and was about to leave. Johnston gave Slaughter the woman from the Lost and Found desk’s number and Slaughter had his ring once more.
“Talk about the power of social media,” Johnston said.