CEDAR HILL, Texas — This past summer, Raymond Dennis found himself shuffling though old photos and came across one in his football uniform from 1941. Dennis immediately felt a sense of nostalgia and even gushed at the fact that there were two cheerleaders by his side. It also reminded him of the harsh reality during those times.
Seven decades ago, Dennis was a standout half-back on the Cedar Hill football team. He played a key role in leading the Longhorns to a 10-0 season and a Bi-District Championship title. No one on the 23 member varsity team received a medal, trophy, recognition, or letter.
Back in 1941 letterman’s sweaters for the Cedar Hill high football team cost $9.95. Even though they were under $10 per sweater, Cedar Hill was still feeling the effects of the Great Depression and could not afford them. Although the Longhorns had a tremendous season and earned bragging rights, they went home empty handed. Looking at the picture Dennis realized that something was still missing.
A couple months ago Dennis, now 88, returned to his alma mater to meet Coach Joey McGuire, whose 2006 squad won a state championship. Along with meeting Coach McGuire, Dennis was introduced to Gina Farmer, Cedar Hill’s athletic director. Farmer learned that Dennis had missed out on a high school tradition and she wanted to make things right. “He touched my heart the moment he walked in the office and he had such a great personality,” Farmer said. “I didn’t think anything about it; I wanted to do something nice to make him smile.”
And smile he did. At Cedar Hill’s homecoming last month, Dennis received the surprise of literally a lifetime; his very own letterman’s jacket with ‘Dennis’ embroidered on the front. He even got to re-create the black and white photo which started him on memory lane to begin with. The picture was complete with two Cedar Hill cheerleaders by his side.
Through the excitement and celebration, Dennis recalled those on the field with him some 70 years before. His only wish now is that all of his teammates could have gotten their letters before they passed away.
We at The Good In Sports couldn’t be happier for Raymond Dennis.
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