It took 70 years, but Raymond Dennis finally got the honor he deserved on Friday night. Now 88, Dennis was back on the Cedar Hill (Texas) High sidelines as a special guest of the 2011 squad when it took on Mansfield (Texas) High, cheering on his Cedar Hill alma mater, for which he once served as a star half back.
That's when Cedar Hill athletic director Gina Farmer surprised Dennis with the memento he never received after his season as the starting half back for the 1940-41 football season: A Cedar Hill letter jacket.
"We had our best team the last year," Dennis told CBS DFW. "We played the '40-41 school year and we didn't even get an award for it. We didn't even get a letter jacket for it."
Of course, there was a good reason why Dennis and his teammates never received those jackets that all prior generations of Cedar Hill players had been presented with. Still reeling from the Great Depression, the Cedar Hills school district couldn't afford the $10 per jacket price tag for the full varsity squad.
After hearing that story from Dennis when he visited the school months earlier, Farmer was immediately touched and asked him to show up for a game this fall. Dennis obliged without being told that he would receive a jacket, despite the fact that he now lives hours away in West Texas.
On Friday, Farmer and the Cedar Hill team ensured the trip was worth the senior citizen's while, as this photo gallery from the Dallas Morning News shows in detail.
In fact, Dennis told CBS DFW there was only one way in which the evening could have been improved.
"I wish all my other team members got one before they passed," he said.
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