WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – As part of the National Football League ’s Honor Roll Program , White Plains’ native son Art Monk came home to the high school he once starred at on Friday, where he became the inaugural member of the High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
In celebration of the 50th year of the Super Bowl, the NFL has kicked off the High School Honor Roll Program to honor players that were on active Super Bowl rosters. Those players’ former football programs will be eligible to apply for special grants through the NFL Foundation.
After starring at Syracuse University, Monk – a 1976 graduate of White Plains High School - helped the Washington Redskins win three Super Bowls, appearing in one more.
Despite his accolades on the field, during a speech in White Plains on Friday, Monk said he’s more proud of what he has achieved off the field, through the aid of his former coaches and teachers.
“I excelled and am known for football and track here, but it’s about more than athletics. It’s easy to celebrate athletic accomplishments, but for me, the real accomplishment is what people here instilled in me for life, as a man,” he said. “At some point, success in sports ends. What makes you successful in life is who you are on the inside.”
Following his speech, Monk presented several leaders on the current White Plains football team with an engraved golden football, officially placing the school in the Honor Roll Program.
Senior football player Tommy Avery echoed Monk’s words, saying that his time playing football in White Plains has benefitted him in many ways off the field.
“Football here has been the foundation for me to grow as a man and become my own person,” he said. “I’ve been on the team for three years, and we’ve had some rough spots on the field. But our success for me is the bonds that we have grown over the last few years.”
Following Monk’s presentation of the golden football, he was named the first member of the newly established White Plains Athletics Hall of Fame, complete with a golden plaque that will soon be on display in the gym, along with 14 other members of the first class that will be announced next week.
Monk has now been entered into the White Plains Athletic Hall of Fame, White Plains High School Hall of Fame, Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame.
White Plains High School Principal Ellen Doherty summed up Friday’s festivities succinctly when she noted that, “if this wasn’t named White Plains High School, it would be named Art Monk High School.”
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