LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The Prairie View Interscholastic League Hall of Fame was in Lufkin on Saturday to honor five new members to the prestigious group.
Sellestine Collins Hunt, Brenda Anderson Tankersley and Cedric Buckley were on hand as well as family members for the late coach Willie Ross and coach Oscar Kennedy, Sr. to accept their plaques that were originally supposed to be awarded last July. The Banquet in San Antonio had to be canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.
Tankersley and Hunt won state titles in PVIL tennis as a doubles group. Buckley also won 3 state championships in tennis as an individual. Coach Ross and Coach Kennedy were known for their work on the track and football field.
“It is great to see with dad being so active in something he really loved to do,” Kennedy’s daughter Miriam Coleman said. “It is an honor for him to know that he has this honor.”
The PVIL was the organization that oversaw the sport and academic competitions for segregated black schools in Texas from the 1920s through 1970 once either all their member schools were closed due to desegregation or joined the UIL.
“Dunbar gave us what we needed to be successful not only on the tennis court but in life,” Hunt said. “Dunbar was Lufkin.”
Dunbar is one of the few former school’s that still have an active alumni association that keeps track of their history. The Dunbar Hall of Fame is located at the old Dunbar High School, which is still used as office space for Lufkin ISD.
“This speaks volumes on the legacy of Dunbar,” Tankersley said. “It honors all the teachers and all the coaches, anyone who was involved with this campus. We were not just students. We were theirs. They took us in and made us one of their own to help us succeed.”