LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Friday at the third annual Lufkin Pro Day three of Angelina County's most successful athletic professionals were honored. San Diego Charger's lineman Rex Hadnot, former NBA player Buddy Lowery and the late Lufkin Panther coach John Outlaw were recognized as individuals who distinguished themselves in the professional ranks.
Hundreds gathered at First United Methodist Church to show their appreciation of these three men.
Outlaw, who represents the epitome of Lufkin Panther athletics to many, recently was honored with the dedication of John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium before Friday's presentation. Outlaw finished his career with 303 wins and coached the Panthers to their only state championship in 2001.
"To be recognized with coach John Outlaw means a lot to me," said Hadnot. "He means a lot to me and a lot to this community so it is an honor to be represented at the same time. "
Hadnot himself just recently left Chargers mini camp and is also in Lufkin for his annual free football camp tomorrow at Lufkin High School. Hadnot hasn't had a minute alone since coming home, but says he wouldn't trade it for anything else.
"You miss it when you are away and to come home and receive that love it really energizes me," said Hadnot. "To be getting this type of recognition with John Outlaw and Buddy Lowery, I'm just at a loss for words."
Lowery is a graduate of Huntington High School and also spent time as an SFA Lumberjack before playing pro basketball. Lowery joked that it has been so long since his career ended, he thought people around Angelina County had forgotten all about him.
"It couldn't get any better really," said Lowery. "But I'm really enjoying it and I appreciate them asking me because it really humbles you to even be asked, it is a real honor to me."
Lufkin Pro Day organizers are also already taking nominations for next year. If you would like to submit a nomination log on to www.lufkinproday.com.