Jurgensen to be honored

Jurgensen to be honored

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National Program Recognizes Pro Football’s Greatest Players in their Hometown Communities

Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 1983 enshrinee Sonny Jurgensen will be recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company in Wilmington, N.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 18, as part of “Hometown Hall of Famers™,” a national program honoring the hometown roots of the sport’s greatest players with special ceremonies and plaque dedication events in local communities.

“This program is about celebrating the hometowns that helped pave the way for future Hall of Famers to become the legendary football players we all know and love,” said George Veras, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises president and CEO. “Together with Allstate we are proud to recognize Sonny Jurgensen with his ‘Hometown Hall of Famer™’ plaque where it all began here in Wilmington.”

A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Jurgensen will be presented with his “Hometown Hall of Famer™” plaque during a special ceremony at 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday at New Hanover High School auditorium, where the plaque will live permanently to serve as an inspiration for the school’s student athletes. The presentation will be made by Jurgensen’s former high school teammates, George Gaddy and Paul Burton.

“To be part of a program that brings the prestige and tradition of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to communities like Wilmington is an honor for Allstate, our agents and employees,” said Mark LaNeve, Allstate executive vice president, marketing and sales operations.

The ceremony will be attended by New Hanover High School students, faculty and staff. Also invited to attend as distinguished guests including Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, New Hanover County Commissioner Chairman Jonathan Barfield and New Hanover County Schools Board of Education Chairman Don Hayes.

In addition to the plaque, a commemorative Sonny Jurgensen “Hometown Hall of Famer™” road sign will be on display in Wilmington.

Jurgensen was a standout quarterback at New Hanover High School where he also was selected his senior year to play quarterback on the North Carolina team in the annual North Carolina versus South Carolina Shrine Bowl game in Charlotte, N.C. Following high school, Jurgensen played for Duke University where he showed his athletic versatility acting as the starting quarterback while also retaining a starting position in the defensive secondary. In 2007, New Hanover High School paid tribute to Jurgensen, and former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Roman Gabriel, by renaming the high school’s field, “Jurgensen Gabriel Football Field.”

The Philadelphia Eagles selected Jurgensen in the fourth round of the 1957 NFL Draft. He played for Philadelphia until he was traded to the Washington Redskins 1964 where he played through his retirement after the 1974 season. In all he threw for 32,224 yards and 255 touchdowns in his career. He had 25 games in which he threw for 300 or more yards and had five 400-yard passing games.

“Hometown Hall of Famers™ presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate” is the Hall of Fame’s first nationwide plaque program and will lead into the celebration of its 50th anniversary in August 2012.

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