CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Late star NFL wide receiver Dwight Clark will be recognized at a jersey retirement ceremony at Garinger High School on Friday evening.
The ceremony will be held at 6:25 p.m. on Friday before the school’s homecoming game against Independence High School.
Clark passed away in June following a battle with ALS disease, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Prior to a successful career with the San Francisco 49ers, which included a well-known moment involving a play that became known as “The Catch” against the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFC Championship game, Clark was a star player for the Garinger High School football team.
Jack Brayboy, a former teammate of Clark’s during his time at the school, has coordinated this event with the help of Garinger High Athletic Director Tony Huggins.
Brayboy felt the time was “appropriate to do something special in his honor".
“It wasn’t too long after his death that I had the idea,” said Brayboy. “Since football season was not too far off, I thought it would be appropriate to do something special in his honor. I bounced the idea off of a few of his close friends and they enthusiastically agreed.”
“From an alumni perspective, it would be nice to not only bring us together to honor Dwight, but also give folks a chance to come back,” said Brayboy.
He remembers Clark as, “the leader of our team”, and explained that he was a star basketball player and long jumper on the track team at the same time. There was, “no pretense” to Clark during his time with the team, Brayboy explained, and he, “did not seek or demand any special attention."
The team captains of the team have been asked to join the field during the ceremony and Calvin Hudgins, Clark’s best friend, as well as Linda Williams-Shuford, the homecoming queen from Clark’s class of 1975, will be in attendance as well. In addition, the group hopes to have Clark’s brother, Jeff, at the event to represent the family.
Brayboy is the President of the Garinger Education Foundation, which has awarded over $500,000 to Garinger High students since 2013. He is hoping to start a memorial scholarship in Clark’s name to award to the school’s best overall student/athlete who plans to attend college.