Inaugural Class of National High School Football Hall of Fame Soon to be Announced in Canton

The National High School Football Hall of Fame is set to make Stark County its home base.

Designed to “preserve the history and honor of high school football players, coaches, and contributors,” the venture is set to unveil its 15-member inaugural class from 50 potential candidates on Monday. The hall’s official induction ceremony will take place on July 30 at the Timken Auditorium, located on the Timken Career Campus in Canton.

The Frank “Turk” Alberta Football Operations Center at McKinley High School has been chosen to house the hall’s displays until a permanent location has been finalized.

LaMont Robinson, the founder and CEO of the hall, said that his decision to base the hall in Canton came after exploring several potential locations in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Oklahoma. He had previously also had discussions with Massillon.

“Canton, Ohio was the perfect choice for the hall,” Robinson said. “The history of football is there.”

Antonio Hall, McKinley’s football coach, partnered with Robinson on the project after a conversation in January.

Hall recalled, “LaMont told me his vision and it resonated with me. I’ve long believed that Stark County and Northeast Ohio, being the mecca for high school football with its rich tradition, needed a dedicated platform to spotlight high school football. With amateur athletics gaining more mainstream attention, this is the perfect time.”

Notable Stark Candidates Emerge for Hall of Fame

Among the numerous potential inductees for the inaugural class, several have already been honored at the Pro Football Hall of Fame situated adjacent to McKinley. Football luminaries such as Jim Brown and Peyton Manning are among the names in contention.

Paul Brown, Marion Motley, Chris Spielman, Mike Doss, Percy Snow, Don Nehlen, and Thom McDaniels are some of the candidates who have ties to Stark County. Other candidates connected to Northeast Ohio high schools include Bernie Kosar, Robert Smith, Chuck Kyle, Ted Ginn Sr. and Ray Freeman.

Marcus Dupree Confirmed for National High School Football Hall of Fame Inaugural Class

Marcus Dupree, a celebrated high school running back from Mississippi who later played for the University of Oklahoma, has publicly announced his induction after sharing his congratulatory letter on social media earlier this month.

Former NFL player Jerry Ball, also a candidate for the inaugural class, is collaborating with Robinson, Hall, and vice president Russell Johnson on the project.

“The creation process has been a close-knit affair with just a handful of us laying the groundwork,” Hall said. “The chance to shape this initiative is incredibly exciting.”

Each member of the inaugural class will receive a custom blazer, a personal trophy, and a plaque to be displayed in the hall.

High School Football Hall of Fame Founder’s Other Ventures

Robinson, originally from Warrensville Heights but now residing in Detroit, trademarked the hall in 2010.

He is also the founder of the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame, with the 2014 induction ceremony held at the Palace Theatre in Canton. Currently, he is working on establishing a permanent location for the R&B hall in Marks, Mississippi.

Robinson envisions the high school football hall as a 30,000-square-foot facility that would be state of the art and highly interactive, and he estimates that $10 million would be needed to construct such a building.

The induction ceremony stands as the project’s primary fundraising tool at present.

Robinson stated, “The inaugural event must set a high standard.
It’s crucial that we get it right the first time.”

For further details on the National High School Football Hall of Fame, its inaugural class, and the selection process, you can visit the original article published on the CantonRep website here.

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