NFL Legend Raymond Berry to be honored at Paris High School Sept. 14
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Pro football legend Raymond Berry will be recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company in Paris, Texas, on Friday, Sept. 14, 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.
“’Hometown Hall of Famers™’ has been warmly embraced by communities and Hall of Famers alike,” said George Veras, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises president and CEO. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Allstate to bring the Pro Football Hall of Fame to communities across the country and congratulate Raymond Berry and Paris High School on bringing a piece of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to Paris.”
A six-time Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection as a wide receiver in the NFL and former high school standout at Paris High School in Paris, Texas, Berry will be presented with his “Hometown Hall of Famer™” plaque during a special ceremony at 10:00 a.m. CT on Friday, Sept. 14, at the Paris High School gymnasium, where the plaque will live permanently to serve as an inspiration for the school’s students and athletes. The presentation will be made by Sammy Morrow, Berry’s long-time friend and former high school teammate.
“To be part of a program that brings the prestige and tradition of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to communities like Paris is an honor for Allstate, our agents and employees,” said Lisa Cochrane, Allstate’s senior vice president of marketing.
The ceremony will be attended by Paris High School students, faculty, staff, alumni and Berry’s family members and close friends. Paris High School Principal Gary Preston will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
In addition to the plaque, a commemorative Raymond Berry “Hometown Hall of Famers™” road sign will be on display in Paris, Texas.
Berry, who needed to wear special shoes because one leg was shorter than the other, didn’t become a starter on the Paris High School football team until his senior year. That season, Berry called the plays as a senior wide receiver and helped lead Paris High School to an undefeated season and a district championship.
Berry went on to play for Southern Methodist University where he received only 33 passes total before being selected by the Baltimore Colts in the 20th round of the 1954 NFL draft. Berry led the league three straight times in receptions and caught a then-record 631 passes for 9,275 yards and 68 touchdowns in his 13-year career. A sure-handed receiver, Berry fumbled the ball only once. He is a member of the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and the NFL 1950s All-Decade Team, and was an All-NFL choice three times.
After Berry retired from the NFL, he joined the New England Patriots as a receivers coach in 1978 and as a head coach in 1984. Under Berry’s leadership, the Patriots advanced to play in Super Bowl XX. He also spent time coaching the Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos.
Berry was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1973.
“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 coincides with the celebration of its 50th anniversary kicking off this month. This fall, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate will honor the hometown legacies of nearly 30 NFL legends, including Marv Levy, Fred Biletnikoff and Joe DeLamielleure.
As part of the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary, Allstate is giving fans the chance to vote and decide on whom they think makes up the greatest All-Time Team. From now until October 19, fans will have the opportunity to visit www.YourAllTimeTeam.com to select their personal All-Time Team of Hall of Famers by voting for 23 players at 11 positions and one coach. The coach and players with the most votes will be named to the Allstate Pro Football Hall of Fame All-Time Team in a televised broadcast on NFL Network on February 2, 2013.
About the Pro Football Hall of Fame
In its day-to-day operation, the Pro Football Hall of Fame works very closely with all facets of the pro football family – the National Football League, the 32 NFL clubs, and other entities to ensure the overall success of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In turn, the Hall strives to serve as the best possible historical showplace and repository for the sport of pro football. The Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational institution that focuses on education, promoting, preserving, and honoring the great individuals and moments that have shaped the sport’s history.
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households through its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names. Widely known by its slogan “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®,” Allstate offers insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®. As part of Allstate’s commitment to strengthen local communities, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate employees, agency owners and the corporation provided $28 million in 2011 to thousands of nonprofit organizations and important causes across the United States.