Three-time Super Bowl champion was honored on Tuesday, Oct. 30, in front of a capacity crowd of 1,500 at Henryetta High School, in Henryetta, Okla., as a Hometown Hall of Famer™ by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company
. The plaque unveiling brought Aikman’s career full circle and created a lasting memory for everyone in attendance.1
Henryetta School District superintendent John Walker served as the event emcee, setting the tone of the event by leading the audience in a standing ovation to welcome Aikman back to his hometown. Aikman would later recognize Walker as one of the kindest individuals he had ever met and credited much of his success on the football field to his early high school days when Walker took him under his wing.
Rick Enis, one of Aikman’s former high school football coaches and current federal programs director at Henryetta School District , presented Aikman with his commemorative plaque. Enis shared several of his favorite memories from Aikman’s past including when his high school team went, “2-8 and still went to state.” (Aikman would later joking add that when his team got to the state championship, they got crushed by their opponent.)
After unveiling his plaque, Aikman delivered a heartfelt speech that reflected on his time in Henryetta and paid tribute to all of those who helped him get to where he is today. Shining the spotlight back on the community, Aikman said, “The reason I wanted to do this today was because of this plaque. At some point, somebody is going to walk by this plaque and it will ignite something inside them that says it is okay to dream and if you put in the time and hard work, those dreams can come true.”
Additional speakers at the event included Allstate representative Donnie Smith and George Veras, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises president and CEO, who explained the significance of the plaque presentation, “Henryetta High School is one of only 43 schools across the country to have received a plaque from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
In addition to the plaque, a commemorative Hometown Hall of Famer™ road sign will be on display in Henryetta.
“It is a true honor to be representing Allstate here today,” said Smith. “As a lifelong resident of this community, I couldn’t be more thrilled that Allstate and the Pro Football Hall of Fame have teamed up to bring this special event to Henryetta for our whole community to experience.”
An All-State football star at Henryetta High School, Aikman went on to earn All-America honors at UCLA during his collegiate playing days.
Aikman was the Dallas Cowboys’ first-round draft pick and first player selected overall in the 1989 NFL Draft. Although his first year in the NFL resulted in a 1-15 record, with each year at quarterback he quickly took the Cowboys from “worst to first,” which culminated in a victory over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII. Aikman’s 22 completions for 273 yards and four touchdowns earned him Super Bowl MVP honors. Aikman would never look back from there, leading the Cowboys to two more Super Bowl titles, (XXVIII and XXX). With 90 wins in the 1990s, Aikman became the winningest starting quarterback in that decade. Aikman also rushed for nine touchdowns during his career.
Aikman was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
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