In one of the more notable instances of delayed recognition in its history, the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame next year will induct Eric Dickerson, the Pro Football Hall of Fame running back who led Sealy to a state championship 41 years ago.
Dickerson, 59, will be added to the state hall of fame in Waco for his exploits with the 1978 Sealy Tigers team that won the Class 2A state championship.
Dickerson rushed for 2,667 yards in 1978, including what at the time was a championship game record of 296 yards (some sources report the total as 311) in Sealy’s 42-20 title game win over Wylie. He set a Southwest Conference record with 4,450 career yards at SMU in 1979-82 and had 13.239 yards for the Rams, Colts, Raiders and Falcons during his 11-year pro career.
He also is on the ballot for this year’s College Football Hall of Fame election and if elected will be the ninth person from Texas to be honored by the state, college and pro football halls. That group includes Doak Walker, Bobby Layne, Sammy Baugh, Joe Greene, Earl Campbell, Mike Singletary, Thurman Thomas and LaDainian Tomlinson.
Dickerson, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999, will represent the 1970s in the 2021 list of Texas honorees, who will be inducted May 2 in Waco.
Other honorees will include Charley Taylor, an all-state back at Grand Prairie Dalworth in the 1950s pre-integration Prairie View Interscholastic League and later an eight-time Pro Bowl receiver with Washington; Chuck Dicus, a two-sport performer at Garland in the mid-1960s and later a two-time All-America receiver at Arkansas; and Tyrone Thurman, who at 5 feet 3 played for a Midland Lee team that advanced to the 1983 championship game against Converse Judson.
Also elected were David Warren, a three-time all-state defensive end who played on Tyler John Tyler’s 1994 Class 5A Division II championship team, and Danny Amendola, who helped The Woodlands reach a the 2003 5A Division I title game before playing for Texas Tech and the New England Patriots.
Rounding out the list are coaches Chad Morris, the current Arkansas coach who coached division championship teams at Bay City and Austin Lake Travis, and Dan Hooks, who coached West Orange-Stark to Class 4A state titles in 1986-87; and contributor Joe Martin, who coached Garland to a division title in 1999 before becoming executive director of the Texas High School Coaches Association.