Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end , Class of 1995, was the most recent enshrinee to be honored as part of the Hometown Hall of Famer™ program. The former San Diego Chargers standout was honored as part of the program presented by Allstate and the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011, in his hometown at his alma mater East St. Louis (Ill.) Senior High School. An audience of more than 1,000 students, coaches, friends and family looked on as Winslow was recognized with a lively pep rally. He was then presented the ninth hometown plaque of 2011 in addition to receiving an unexpected honor from the City of East St. Louis wherein a city street was officially renamed Drive.
In the school gymnasium, adorned with the East St. Louis Senior High School Flyers’ colors and complete with an AstroTurf runway, Winslow’s brother David spoke of watching his brother’s journey from East St. Louis, Ill., to becoming one of the greatest tight ends in National Football League history. As Kellen walked down the runway, the entire student body welcomed him as he was met by his family and they together unveiled his historic “Hometown Hall of Famer™” plaque which will live permanently at the school to serve as an inspiration to students and athletes.
“To honor in the presence of his alma mater, former teammates and family made today’s hometown plaque presentation extremely special,” said George Veras, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises president and CEO. “It is our hope that by reconnecting the legacy of to East St. Louis Senior High School and the East St. Louis community, students all over the area will be inspired to succeed in academics and athletics.”
Friday’s ceremony was emceed by Barry Malloyd, the cross country, track and field coach at East St. Louis Senior High School and the massive crowd had the opportunity to watch a highlight video of Winslow. The video was a special element for the students who had taken part in a “Who is ?” campaign at their school in which they learned about the famous tight end in advance of his hometown ceremony.
“To be part of a program that brings the prestige and tradition of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to communities like East St. Louis is an honor for Allstate, our agents and employees,” said Mark LaNeve, Allstate executive vice president, marketing and sales operations.
Winslow began playing football during his senior year at East St. Louis Senior High School and became a standout tight end for the Flyers. After high school, Winslow was an All-American at the University of Missouri before being drafted 13th overall by the San Diego Chargers in the 1979 NFL Draft. Winslow played for the Chargers from 1979 to 1987, leaving the game as one of the most prolific tight ends in the history of the NFL. A consensus All-Pro in 1980, 1981, 1982, arguably Winslow's most memorable performance occurred in 1981, in the Chargers 41-38 overtime playoff victory over Miami, when he caught 13 passes for 166 yards and blocked a field goal with four seconds to play to send the game into overtime.
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