Craig Doak Walker, 1948 Heisman Trophy winner, was an inspiration to youth and adults alike. Walker starred on two National Football League championship teams, but was paralyzed in a skiing accident in early 1998. He died later that year.
To preserve his memory and the ideals Walker stood for, Craig Parks and Recreation Department officials have chosen to name a local sport after Walker.
"We felt like with him living in Northwest Colorado, as close as he lived to us, what better way to honor him and his memory," Parks and Recreation Director Dave Pike said. "He's a great role model for kids."
The "Doak Walker Youth Football League" will be christened at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Woodbury Park in Craig. Both the lieutenant governor and Craig Mayor Dave DeRose will make presentations to Walker's wife, Skeeter, and to the Doak Walker Foundation.
Walker was 71 when he died last year from complications relating to his paralysis. The paralysis was a blow to the athlete who was named All-Pro four times. Walker was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986 and is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Last year it was suggested the youth football league be named after Doak Walker. According to Pike, Mayor Dave DeRose thought it was a great idea and set the ball rolling. DeRose set up the initial meetings with members of the Doak Walker Foundation.
"This is a good way to remember him always," Pike said. "It's only appropriate being that he brought so much to this area."
Logos on all kids helmets and on the fronts of shirts and patches on the pockets of coaches will identify members of the Doak Walker Youth Football league.
"It's just something that we all felt like needed to be done," Pike said. "It was just a great idea and it fit in so well with this program. I think it was something he would have loved. He was really an outstanding individual and a great football player."
For more information about Doak Walker and his accomplishments, log on to the Internet at www.athleticforum.smu.edu/doak
The community is welcome to attend the ceremony.