Athletic Hall of Fame adds excitement under Friday night lights
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After several years in hiatus, the Waco ISD Athletic Hall of Fame was resurrected with the induction of two NFL stars and former Waco ISD football players. The friendly cross-town rivalry between the University Trojans and the Waco High Lions on Oct. 18, 2013, served as the venue for the event.
The Waco ISD Stadium served as the perfect setting for the former Lion (Derrick Johnson) and former Trojan (LaDainian Tomlinson) to receive their place in the Waco ISD Athletic Hall of Fame. It was an evening of family fun, with pregame tailgating, middle school and high school bands playing, cheerleaders, popcorn, and all that usually happens under the Friday night lights in Texas.
Derrick Johnson, a 2001 graduate of Waco High, played linebacker for the University of Texas, earning (twice) All-American honors. He was a first-round (15th overall) draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2005 where he is currently on the roster as linebacker.
LaDainian Tomlinson graduated from University High in 1996 and played college football for Texas Christian University. He spent 11 years in the National Football League where he was a first-round draft pick (fifth overall) by the San Diego Chargers. He retired from the NFL in 2011 after two seasons with the New York Jets. As a running back for the NFL, he had 3,174 carries for a total of 13,684 yards and 145 touchdowns.
The induction ceremony took place on the field after the first-quarter of the game. Prior to the ceremony, Interim Athletic Director Johnny Tusa held a reception for the honorees, their family members, and members of the Waco ISD Athletic Hall of Fame.
At half time, the Waco ISD Education Foundation’s Campus Captains, along with Dr. Bonny Cain, Superintendent of Schools, presented the Waco ISD Education Foundation Board members with funds that were raised during the Foundation’s annual campaign. For the past four weeks, campus faculty, staff and students have raised an incredible $62,537.09 during the 2013 District Drive.
At the end of the third-quarter, a new Waco ISD tradition was established with the inaugural fifth-grade contest, “Score for your School.” A fifth-grade student from each of the District’s elementary schools was chosen to participate in a challenge of speed and determination, answering the question, “Who is the fastest fifth-grader?” “Score for your School” was designed promote school pride and team spirit in the elementary schools. The winning fifth-grader was Mountainview Elementary's Sol'Dravieon Degrate who crossed the finish line with a time of 6.69.
Congratulations to Sol'Dravieon and his physical education teacher, Gretchen Gibson. In addition to bragging rights, the entire fifth-grade at Mountainview Elementary will be treated to a pizza party.