What a thrill it was to be honored at halftime of the Bulldogs homecoming game with Pueblo Friday night.
Words cannot describe the gratitude I have for those who played a role in my being named this year’s Douglas High School homecoming dedicatee.
Ever since the official announcement was made this past week, the response I’ve received from the community has been overwhelming. Friends and colleagues from throughout the state have reached out to me, offering their congratulations.
I learned this tradition began in 1971 and Friday, I was the 49th person to receive this prestigious honor.
I am thrilled to follow last year’s dedicatee coach Dick Keith, who is considered a legend in this town. I had the privilege to work with coach Keith the two different times he coached the Bulldogs.
In looking over the list of past dedicatees, names like Paul Huber Sr., Dr. Joe Causey, Henry Beumler, Chet Foster, Ike Sharp, Ivan Huish, Ray Borane, Paul Denham, Raul Montano and Mike Foster stand out. Also, on the list were 1992 honorees Edessa Dess and Martha Stolp, former owners of Marty-Dess Photography, who were mentors of mine when I had my photography business. Martha gave me some valuable tips about shooting DHS athletics which I still practice to this day.
To think that I am now forever linked in this fraternity of dedicatees is something I will always be appreciative of.
Moments after the halftime ceremony, I met up with coach Dale Kleck who was honored in 1996. Kleck was coach my first year here and then retired. Talking with him after I was honored was special.
When I came here 33-years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would still be here. But this town has taken me in, accepted me, and converted a Blue Devil into a Bulldog. Hard to believe this was my 33rd consecutive Douglas High School homecoming that I have covered.
Standing before you all on Friday night was humbling and at the same time, nerve-racking. My first focus was not to trip or cause my two cheerleader escorts to stumble. Second was to not drop the statue Mr. Walker presented to me. I don’t remember what I said because I didn’t write anything down. I wanted whatever was said to be from my heart, and it was. Fortunately, there is a video I will have to remember the ceremony.
Douglas, I am so grateful to all of you for this honor and the support you’ve all shown me.
Thank you all for making this occasion so special.