Chris Doleman, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer, will be the featured speaker at an awards banquet honoring York High athletes on Saturday, May 19.
Doleman was a standout football player at York High and later at Pitt, before getting drafted in the first round (fourth overall) in the 1985 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Doleman went on to play 15 years in the NFL with the Vikings, San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons.
He finished his pro career with 1501/2 sacks, 914 tackles and eight Pro Bowl berths. He was selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past February and is set to be enshrined on Saturday evening, Aug. 4.
Doleman will speak at the annual awards and fundraising breakfast for York High's Block and Tackle Character, Leadership and Responsibility Program (BT Express) at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 19, at the Yorktowne Hotel. BT Express, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, will also hold its Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony on that day, as well. Doleman was inducted into BT Express Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
Doleman joins an illustrious group of athletes who have been featured speakers for BT Express events, including Pro Football Hall of Fame wideout Lynn Swann, former Pro Bowl offensive tackle Lincoln Kennedy and current New York Giants offensive tackle Will Beatty. Kennedy and Beatty are former Yorkers.
The 2012 BT Express Hall of Fame Class includes former York High football players Jordan Richardson II (1987), Frank Stoner (1961) and Richard Washington (1971). The former Bearcat basketball players to be inducted are Chemin Lambert (2010), Damar Lopez (1998), Kelvin Parker (2011), Bill Plymaire (1961) and Chris Woodard (1983).
In addition, Barry Freeland will receive the BT Express Community Service Award. Freeland is the director of the Community Progress Council Senior Employment Program and a 10-year volunteer with BT Express.
Dommonick Chapman, Michael Dowery, Gordon Harrison, Eric Mann, Jason Rogers and Tyrone Snellings will be recognized for their work with York's AAU Pop Warner football program (the York Bears). More than 100 York City children ages 5-13 are enrolled in the program.
Rodney Washington and Robert Cooper will also be acknowledged for their work over the past seven years with York's Pa. Elite AAU basketball program, which earned a national title in 2006.
George Trout, former WORK sports commentator for York High sports, will serve as master of ceremonies. Todd Toerper of Cumulus Media is the honorary program chairman.
Chaz Green, York High's athletic director, is a big supporter of BT Express.
"Over the past 10 years, the BT Express has provided tutorial assistance and scholarship support to student-athletes at York High," he said. "This group of community volunteers also provided SAT prep support, organized college tours and supervised BT Express community service initiatives.
"Every Thursday after football practice, the program conducted character, leadership and responsibility classes featuring former athletes who make a positive difference in their communities."
Juanita Kirkland, BT Express co-founder, believes the program has been invaluable over the past decade.
"We think that the BT Express has made a big difference in the direction that our student athletes are taking today vs. 10 years ago," Kirkland said. "Over 90 percent of our graduating seniors have gone on to college since the program began.
"We understand that there is not a lot of funding for these types of programs, however, we believe that what we lack in funding, we make up in our passion and commitment to helping our students realize that life can be rewarding and successful if they put education first, resist peer pressure and make the right choices in their lives."
Tickets for the event may be purchased in advance by contacting the York High athletic department at 717-849-1218.