KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Two former Vikings are setting a shining example for young players.
“Before ESPN, before the names on the backs of jerseys, before End Zone charades. It was just an oblong ball that made men out of boys,” says Former New England Patriot’s Tight End Lin Dawson.
Dawson says he knew football was special before he took the field at Super Bowl XX in 1986. Dawson, along with his high school and NFL teammate Ron Wooten, were honored in Kinston on Friday.
“It really is not a reflection on me,” says Dawson. “This speaks boldly about the character and the kind of people who work here in Kinston.”
The golden footballs were presented to the school and duo by the NFL as a sign of appreciation for the program in Lenoir County. Former Kinston teammates say the pair has always been a great example for players.
“We couldn’t be more proud,” says Earl Keith, who played with Dawson and Wooten. “Everyone around here really supported them. They’re just two regular guys that went on to be professional athletes.”
Dawson says he’s been able to apply lessons from football to the field. He hopes younger players realize their potential and strive for success.
“Assume the responsibility because where much is given, much is required,” Dawson says. “If you have the talent and skills in one area, you ought to be able to transpose them and move those to an area in which they can help you further.”
With more than 3,000 people in attendance for the game and ceremony, football continues to bring communities together proving it’s more than just a game.