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Griffin welcomes back Rayfield Wright
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, a six-time Pro Bowl selection with the Dallas Cowboys, was presented with a special plaque on Tuesday, signifying him as a “Hometown Hall of Famer™” by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company. The event took place in front of students, alumni and Wright’s closest friends and family at Griffin High School in Griffin, Ga.
Wright, a graduate of Fairmont High School in Griffin, which later merged with Griffin High School, entered the gymnasium through a tunnel of current Griffin High football players holding their helmets above their heads. Using today’s event as an opportunity to speak directly to the students in the audience, Wright stepped up to the podium and delivered a passionate message.
“Education gives us knowledge. Knowledge gives us wisdom. Wisdom gives us the ability to make the right decisions in life.” Wright would go on to say, “Whatever road you are on in life, no matter how many times you fall down, get back up and stay on your road.”
Wright’s former college football coach, L.J. “Stan” Lomax, served as the event’s plaque presenter. He delivered a moving speech that recounted his years coaching Wright, while crediting him for his unmatched dedication to achieving his dreams.
“This is a very exciting day for Griffin. Rayfield Wright is a local legend and a great example for this community,” said Allstate representative and Griffin, Ga., native Charleston McClendon. “I’m not only here to represent Allstate, but also my hometown of Griffin. Rayfield Wright is a man who walked the streets that we walk and proved that he could be a hall of famer.”
Additional speakers included Griffin-Spalding County School System Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones, who served as the ceremony’s emcee and Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises Program Director Brock Richards.
“Today’s plaque dedication forever links Griffin High School and the community of Griffin, Ga., to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio,” said Richards. “It’s an honor to be here in Griffin to help celebrate the great Rayfield Wright in the community where it all began.”
In addition to the plaque, a commemorative Rayfield Wright “Hometown Hall of Famers™” road sign will be on display in Griffin.
An All-American at Fort Valley State College, Wright was a seventh-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys during the 1967 NFL Draft. During his first three seasons, the 6-6, 255-pound Wright was used as a tight end, defensive end, and offensive tackle. The Cowboys were victorious in two of the five Super Bowl games (Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl XII) Wright played in during his 13-year career. Wright was named first- or second-team All-NFL six consecutive times and was also named to the 1970s All-Decade Team.
Wright was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
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