Midlothian athletes were remembered and the tradition they started was honored during the Inaugural Inductee Banquet on Saturday evening at Heritage High School. The Hall of Honor, an idea of Athletic Director Steve Keasler, honored the athletes that started a tradition to the community.
“I wanted to honor these individuals who have excelled in athletics and who have continued to inspire others,” Keasler said.
The banquet and awards ceremony honored 11 individuals and the baseball teams of 1961 through 1964.
The evening's emcee, Dale Hansen, sportscaster for WFAA introduced the award presenter as “The defender of the star, former Dallas Cowboy, George Teague.”
Before Teague took the podium, Hansen showed a video of Teague interrupting San Francisco’s scorer Terrell Owens celebration on the Cowboys Star at center field of Cowboy stadium.
“I will be forever remembered for that play,” Teague said.
Teague’s address stressed how the actions and decisions people make can have an impact on the rest of their lives.
“Growing up I was small and played a lot of soccer. I played some football but preferred soccer,” Teague said.
“When I was older, going into high school, I had to make a tough decision, to play football or soccer. I was pretty set leaning towards soccer until my mother talked to me and urged me to go out for football. That turned into a lifelong change and very rewarding decision,” Teague said.
Through his experiences in college and professional football Teague illustrated during his address how he has been able to coach at high school level and help young players make good decisions in their lives.
“When I started with the NFL, they had a rule book this thick, (showing his hands several inches apart). I looked at the cost of several offenses. After the Terrell Owens action, of which I was ejected, I looked up a suspension and realized that I would soon be writing a $29,000 check. It was hard to go home and tell the family that things were going to be tough for a while,” Teague said.
“Since then I have reached out and called Owen and said 'let’s get together and be friends and laugh about good times.' But he hasn’t returned my messages. It is what it is and will be forever. Some decisions last a life time,” Teague said.
Following Teague’s address, Hansen and Keasler began recognizing the honored athletes.
“The first to be recognized was not an athlete, but a supporter since his youth, and all of his adult life,” Hansen said. A video showed Jackie Cavender through his life illustrating his love for Midlothian athletics.
“Jackie had a heart condition that prevented him for participating in athletics, but that did not get in the way of his lifelong support,” the video commentator said.
Joey Chapman, Class of 1987, was the second to be recognized.
“He was always running and a very well recognized cross country runner who won many district and regional awards. Running was his passion, he won more than four cross country races.” Hansen said.
“Paul Cox, class of 1964, was a gifted runner; he was a coach's dream,” the video narrator said.
From players to a coach, Hansen announced Earl Dietrich as the next honoree. Dietrich was a coach and educator in the district for 31 years. Hansen recited Deitrich’s quote that was frequently used to inspire those he coached. “The only difference between a champion and a chump is a champion strives to be a champion.”
“A Midlothian football player recruited by then Texas A&M Coach Bear Bryant,” Hansen said to introduce Jon Few. “Following a successful college All-Star career, Few played for the Dallas Cowboys.”
Another Midlothian football player inducted into the hall was Donald Wayne Floyd, Class of 1955. Floyd is most remembered by Midlothian residents for having a football stadium named after him. Floyd was recognized for his accomplishment of playing at TCU before being drafted by the Houston Oilers.
The female athlete honor with the inaugural induction was Donna Bramlett Kemp. Kemp graduated in 1967 and was a standout high school and college basketball player.
“She was a model athlete and a role model for other athletes,” the video commentator said.
After announcing Kemp, Sid Kuykendall was the next inductee to be honored.
“He was a basketball coach's dream,” Hansen said announcing Kuykendall, who was described as a standout and all-district athlete. Kuykendall holds five high school scoring records.
Dennis Washington, class of 1985 was another football standout that was recognized. Washington was first team All Star running back who continued his college football career at University of Texas at Arlington.
Wilburn G. Roesler was inducted for his accomplishments as a coach and educator for 26 years.
The last induction went to a group of Midlothian baseball teams. The teams of 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964 shared success including reaching regional playoffs four years in a row.
In his closing comments, Hansen urged the young athletes that were in attendance to see what these inductees have accomplished on and off the field and look to them as examples.