WFL gala honors Montgomery County sports heroes

WFL Gala logoROCKVILLE — Bowie State quarterback Amir Hall was among the honorees Saturday during the Washington Football Legends Scholarship Gala at Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.

The 10th annual event also featured appearances by members of the Washington Redskins 1988 Super Bowl team including Doug Williams, Ricky Sanders, Dexter Manley, Darrell Green and Gary Clark.

Rick “Doc” Walker, a former Redskins tight end, and Silver Spring native Larry Michael, who serves as the “Voice of the Redskins,” were Masters of Ceremonies during the evening.

This year marked the 30th anniversary of Washington’s 42-10 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII, a historic win for Williams, who became the first African-American quarterback to lead a team to a Super Bowl victory.

“He was the face and the quarterback of that team and he got a lot of visibility,” said Green, a cornerback who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008. “He is what you call a real hero and we’re real proud of him as a person. I have great respect for him beyond his arm strength. I have a great respect for him as a man and a friend.”

“I think Doug was a champion for everyone in this community,” said Manley, a defensive end who earned the nickname “Secretary of Defense.”

Manley, who spent nearly a decade with the franchise and made a Pro Bowl appearance in 1986, was among Washington’s most popular players during his tenure and still has fond memories of the 1988 Super Bowl win.

“I thought the Redskins defense was sensational that day,” said Manley, “and I was outstanding in my humble opinion.”

Hall, a Riverdale Baptist graduate, was honored as the College Player of the Year while Ricky Slade was named the Herman Boone High School Player of the Year. Slade, a Penn State recruit, is a senior at C.D. Hylton in Woodbridge, Virginia.

“I’m just blessed to be in the position I’m in now,” said Hall, who thanked his family, including his parents who were in attendance.

Morgan Moses, an offensive lineman, was honored as the Washington Redskins Player of the Year.

Former Washington Football Legends Master of Ceremonies Jim Vance was also honored. Vance, a longtime local television news anchor, died last year after a battle with cancer. He was 75.

Christina Eaglin, Vance’s fiancée, was in attendance and spoke about his beloved Redskins.

“He was actually more excited to see you all than you were to see him,” she told the audience.

This event has honored local sportscasters with Montgomery County ties in past years including Chick Hernandez, James Brown and George Michael.

Brown, a Bethesda resident who began his broadcasting career in local television, is an Emmy Award-winning host of “The NFL Today” on CBS. Hernandez, who played high school football at Montgomery Blair, was once Brown’s intern at Channel 9.

Michael, the late WRC-TV sportscaster who lived on a farm in Comus, was an iconic figure who created “The George Michael Sports Machine,” a nationally-syndicated television program.

The Washington Football Legends not only pays tribute to athletic achievement but also raises money to support local charities and provide scholarships for minority higher education assistance, thanks to the work of The Joyce & Thomas Moorehead Foundation and the Shack Harris & Doug Williams Foundation.



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