GRANITE CITY, Ill. (KMOX) – Saying to the student body, “Dream big. You determine your fate,” Pro Football Hall of Famer Kevin Greene returned to his high school alma mater Tuesday for the first time since getting his HOF gold jacket and ring.
Greene and one of his football coaches at what was then Granite City High South, Nick Petrillo, unveiled a bronze plaque at an assembly in the Granite City High gymnasium. “How cool is that?” the 1980 alum Greene asked the audience.
The appearance and plaque were made possible through the Ford Motor Company and Pro Football Hall of Fame’s “Hometown Hall of Famer” program.
Granite City became one of only 106 high schools to join the ranks of an “Official High School of the Pro Football Hall of Fame” by accepting the historical artifact for display.
Nick Petrillo recalled some memories of Greene in high school and asked the students of today to live by words he’s heard Greene often say, “Don’t just make a decision. Make a commitment to be the very best you can possibly be.”
Greene’s message to the students involved these planks, “Dream big, stay the course. Surround yourself with good people. And, enjoy life’s journey.”
Greene heard a student say “write me a check” when Petrillo was talking about the donations the alum had made to the GCHS football program over the years. He responded in his speech, “Hell no. Nobody’s going to just write you a check. Take command of your life, do what you want to do, then write yourself your own check.”
Both Greene and Petrillo commended the Granite City High Marching Warriors band on its performance in the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Parade in Canton, Ohio. The band raised tens of thousands of dollars to make the trip. Greene said at the assembly, “You represented Granite in Canton, and I truly appreciate that.”
In remarks to the media after the ceremony, Greene said his Hall of Fame experience has exceeded all expectations. He said the Pittsburgh Steelers remain a class organization, have taken care of him and his family during the process, and he’s humbled to be considered a “Steeler forever.”
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