Tuesday, May 14, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
Monday at The Howard School there was a celebration for its all-everything alum Reggie White
The Hustlin' Tiger marching band was playing, the cheer leaders were cheering and the student body paid homage to one of their own.
But while representatives from All-State Insurance and the Pro Football Hall of Fame plus various dignitaries from our city were on hand to honor White’s hall of fame career on the gridiron - from St.
Elmo to the NFL – they were also on hand to pay tribute for his life off the field as well.
“If Reggie was here (he passed away Dec. 26, 2004) he would tell you to make good choices in the classroom and in your every day lives,” said Sara White, Reggie’s widow.
“He would tell you to be disciplined in all aspects of your life, pursue your goals with passion and hang around people who will pull you up, not down.”
Reggie White earned all-state honors for Howard in the late 1970s, was an All-American defensive end at Tennessee and enjoyed an all-pro career in the National Football League with the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers. He is a member of the college and pro football halls of fame.
Thanks to the hall of fame and All-State, pro football hall of famers and their hometowns and schools are being recognized through the “Hometown Hall of Famers” program.
“This is a great day for The Howard School as we celebrate how Reggie was able to use his athletic talents to have a successful career,” said Howard principal Paul Smith.
“And I also want to emphasize to our students, that I want them not only to be successful as a student today, but also to be a success in life when they are 50.”
One student Mr. Smith recognized is ninth grade class president Ajasia Reed.
“She is smart, intelligent and talented. She will never be a great athlete but will be successful in other areas of life.”
The 4.0 student is a member of the school band and recognized the importance of the Reggie White celebration.
“This means a lot to us as Howard students to know that one of our alums was successful in life and that so many people are here to celebrate his life,” said Reed.
Another Reggie White fan in attendance was his dad, Charles White (Howard class of 1960).
“This is a great day for the White family as I was the first Howard athlete to earn 16 varsity letters in four sports and am here to help honor my son who is the first Howard athlete to be in the pro football hall of fame.”
Knowing that the vast majority of the students in attendance on Monday would never play college or pro sports, Sara Smith told them to let no one squash their dreams.
While her late husband squashed many an opposing quarterback’s dreams on Sunday’s from his defensive end position, he stayed true to his Christian beliefs on and off the field.
“Reggie would want you to be true, positive, faithful, honest and helpful and be that person to encourage others.
“He would not be happy if you only reached half your destination in life.”
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com