The second annual Dale Hansen Football Classic kicked off day two on Saturday with a Champions Breakfast.

Eleven athletes from six different schools were recognized for their academic excellence during a scholarship ceremony Saturday, Sept. 7.

Each student received a $500 scholarship to put toward his or her college education.

The recipients were Taylor Turner and Zain Byers of Italy High School; Joshua Gautreaux and Caitlin Carter of Thrall High School; Cyle Johnson and Keely Crowder of Alvarado High School; Fernando Garcia and Kelsey Reynolds of Malakoff High School; Meridyn Futrell and John Ramirez of Florence High School; and Brady Walker of Mexia High School.

The event is named for Waxahachie resident and award-winning sportscaster for ABC’s Dallas affiliate WFAA Channel 8 Dale Hansen. Hansen is known for his show “Dale Hansen’s Sports Special,” which airs on Sunday nights. During his show, Hansen recognizes a scholar-athlete of the week who excels both on and off the field.

During the breakfast, Hansen shared why he feels it’s important to honor student athletes and why he chose to host the football classic.

“Kids are different today,” Hansen said. “I love that. But I’m not worried about them, because they’ll grow out of it. I’m not worried about the future like so many older people are, and the main reason I’m not is because of kids I meet like the ones sitting here today.”

Hansen said when he is given an opportunity to meet good kids he realizes how comfortable he is about the future, not just in this country, but society as a whole.

“In my business we don’t report enough about all the good kids that go to our schools, that walk our streets and volunteer in our community,” he said. “We report on the one kid that robbed a liquor store, or beat up somebody or the one who shot somebody. But the Waxahachie Independent School District has given me an opportunity to be reminded of how many good kids we have around here.”

As Hansen addressed the scholarship recipients he encouraged that they are living in some of the most incredible times of their lives. To drive home his point, he recounted a story that was told to him by one of his high school teachers.

“When I was 12 years old all I wanted to be was 14 so I could get my learner’s permit and drive a car,” Hansen said. “It took me 17 and a half years to go from 12 to 14. When I was 14 all I wanted to be was 16 so I could drive a car by myself. It took me 14 years to go from 14 to 16. When I was 16 all I wanted to be was 18 so I could get out of high school and be on my own. It took nine and a half years to go from 16 to 18. When I turned 18 all I wanted to be was 21 so that I could become a legal adult. It took 11 years to go from 18 to 21. When I turned 21 I went out with a couple of buddies and had a few beers. I went home that night, went to bed and when I woke up the next day I was 65 years old. I was 21 three weeks ago. I have no idea where the time went.”

Although he is in his 60s, Hansen said he can still recall everything about his years in high school, because they were the greatest times in his life.

“High school is a one shot deal,” he said. “You can change every decision you make in life, except what you do in high school. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of the many great opportunities that high school has to offer, like so many of you have already done.”

In recognition for Hansen’s commitment to the football classic and education, Interim Superintendent for WISD David Truitt and Public Relations Director Dr. Nicole Mansell presented him with a set of grilling utensils with his name on them.

Mansell also recognized the sponsors for the classic and presented them with a token of appreciation. The sponsors for this year’s event were WFAA Channel 8, City Credit Union, Waxahachie Convention and Visitors Bureau, H-E-B, Chick-fil-A of Waxahachie and 106.9 The Ranch.

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