Three Lufkin natives were honored Thursday night at the annual Lufkin Pro Day ceremony.
This year's honorees are listed below:
Joe Williams – Dunbar High School; Former Dallas Cowboys Running Back
The Late Willie Mae Burley – Teacher and Coach, Dunbar and Lufkin High School
Khalyn Cole – Current Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and Lufkin High School Graduate
Williams won a state championship in track and football at Dunbar High School. Williams later played college football at Wyoming, then was drafted in the 12th round by the Dallas Cowboys in 1971. In 1972, Williams helped win the Cowboys first-ever Super Bowl title in Super Bowl VI.
"It goes all the way back to Ken Houston who started all the things who made it to the NFL Hall of Fame and then for me to come along and be the first one out of Lufkin to bring a Superbowl ring to the town," Williams said. "Then to see the rest of the guys who have gone on all the way up to Dez now, makes it very very special."
Former Lufkin ISD Superintendent Roy Knight said Burley was instrumental in civil rights during the integration of Lufkin Schools. Knight also credited Burley for making sure teachers where given raises while she was on the school board.
"Lufkin has put out good students also," Burley's son, Ecomet Burley said. "Athletics is just a part of the legacy in Lufkin so for her to be named among these other pros is very special and means a lot for our family."
Cole sent a special video message. According to her family, prior engagements with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders prevented her from being part of the ceremony.
"She has shown that if you don't first succeed then you get up and try again," father Kelvin Cole said. "She did not make it at first but she didn't give up and she is there now. It is very humbling and just privilege to be mentioned among these great people from our community."
The Lufkin Pro Day Group recently awarded $3500 in scholarships to seven 2017 high school graduates from area schools.
Scholarship winners were chosen for demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, student involvement and community service during their high school careers.
The 2017 LPDG scholarship recipients are: Nyles Duffield, Diboll HS; Chyanne Mouton, Hudson HS; Shania Reppond, Huntington HS; and Lufkin High School graduates Brianna Alexander, Alesia Hale, Jaylen McCloud and Keith Overshine.
The Lufkin Pro Day Group scholarships are funded from the proceeds received from the annual banquet, which honors individuals from Angelina county who have had exceptional careers both on and off the field with emphasis on sports. TLPDG has honored 15 individuals over the past 6 years at their annual banquet. The Lufkin Pro Day Group is a 501c non-profit organization and has awarded scholarships to area students the past two years.