On Thursday, Oct. 30, Allstate Insurance Company and the Pro Football Hall of Fame honored former Detroit Lions legend and Hall of Famer as a “Hometown Hall of Famer” at his former high school in Greensboro, N.C., Sanders, his family, friends and the students of Dudley High all attended the ceremony.
Dudley High School Athletic Director Joe Godette kicked off the ceremony by informing the students what an honor it was to have this plaque presented to their school to recognize such an iconic person in Dudley’s history. Allstate agency owner John Palmer was very proud to take part in the legendary day. He spoke about Allstate’s efforts to protect what matters most to people so they, like Sanders, can achieve their goals and dreams.
Brock Richards of the Pro Football Hall of Fame told Dudley High students, “Today is about you. It’s about Charlie honoring his hometown and the roots of his great career. Charlie did not get to the Hall of Fame solely because of how he played the game of football, but how he played the game of life.”
Sanders' high school coach and longtime friend, William Boyers, had the honor of presenting Sanders and unveiling the bronze plaque. Boyers spoke of his pride in coaching Sanders in the beginning of his great career and in helping him realize a dream Sanders never deemed possible.
Sanders entered the theater to a standing ovation. Throughout his speech, he thanked Allstate and the Pro Football Hall of Fame for not only acknowledging his legacy, but also his community that gave him the chance to become a Hall of Famer. His advice to the students focused on education, making good decisions and following the right crowd.
A tight end from the University of Minnesota, Sanders was a third-round draft pick for the Detroit Lions in the 1968 draft. With 336 career receptions and 31 touchdowns, Sanders is known for his leaping ability, speed and strength on the field. Regarded as one of the best tight ends of his era, he earned first or second team all-pro selections in 1969, 1970 and 1971, named All-NFC first- or second-team five times, elected to seven Pro Bowls, and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1970s.
Sanders was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007.
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