Hall-of-Famer Eddie Kennison credits community for success

NATCHITOCHES — Former Washington-Marion two-sport great Eddie Kennison further etched his name in history last night as he was officially inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. 

The Lake Charles native — who earned Parade All-American honors playing football, won an NCAA championship in the 4×100-meter relay at LSU and was selected in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft leading to a 13-year career playing professional football — said the honor was among the greatest he’s received. 

“To be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, it’s a tremendous honor,” Kennison said. “I say that with a sincere heart. The 2017 class is made up of some of the best coaches and athletes in the world. To be a part of a class like this, I’m very humbled.”

Kennison entered the Hall of Fame with fellow NFL star and Super Bowl champion Ed Reed, World Series winner Juan Pierre and PGA Tour veteran David Toms, among others. 

“It’s phenomenal because everyone has taken their own path to get to this point,” Kennison said. “For the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame to recognize that is pretty special.”

He regularly reflects on how he reached his success, and he said it can all be traced back to being raised in the environment in the Goosport community that made him who he is.

There he learned how to play football with pickup games on concrete — sometimes getting lessons the hard way. “We were just young kids playing on the street doing what kids do,” he said. “It just so happened that because of those street games, it helped me build that toughness. When you get tackled on concrete it doesn’t feel good. So you try not to get tackled.

“All of those upbringings and that surroundings helped mold the toughness in me to help pave the way for a tough career.”

From those games on the street to his teachers and coaches at Washington-Marion who helped him grow into a star athlete and a successful adult, he can point to countless factors that led to his induction in the Hall of Fame. 

“That’s where I was born and raised,” he said. “That was my environment. There was nothing that was wrong about it and there was everything that was right about it because without that environment I wouldn’t be here. 

“Without growing up around the people I grew up with, without the friends that kept me honest and some friends that taught me things I should and shouldn’t do, I wouldn’t be here. I got a lot of that, and that helped shape and mold me into who I am today.”

Now Kennison tries to regularly give back to the Lake Charles community, especially at his alma mater where he sponsors the Charging Indians’ annual track and field meet and has donated equipment and tools for the team to work with. 

Kennison said he feels a sense of responsibility to give back to the community that ultimately gave him everything. 

“I think it’s a responsibility for any person to give back,” Kennison said. “It feels good because God put me in a position to be able to go back and share stories and help guys understand that there’s a big world out there. Let’s go play in it, let’s go make a difference and let’s have fun doing it.”

””

Former Kansas City Chiefs player Eddie Kennison (87) running the ball against the Denver Broncos during a game in 2005.

Local News

Downtown at Sundown returns on Friday

Local News

Bill to put air conditioning, heat in school buses fails

McNeese Sports

Cowboys going international

Crime

5/23: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Hurricane forecast points to a dangerous 2024 Atlantic season

life

Citgo and Bess the Book Bus bring the joy of reading to SW La. students

Local News

Three-car crash on I-210 leaves three dead

life

PHOTO GALLERY: Rosa Hart Theatre damage

life

United Way to provide tuition assistance for summer programs

Crime

Supreme Court denies writ for man sentenced in beating death of Oakdale man

life

City, Mallard Golf Club to offer Kids Golf Clinic

McNeese Sports

Early start perfect for Cowboys

Local News

Cassidy: Arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Gallant ‘outrageous’

life

Splash into summer at Louisiana state parks

Local News

Kennedy: Hurricane Laura recovery money headed to Lake Charles

Crime

5/21: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Washington-Marion students making BIG impact for community’s LITTLES

Local News

Louisiana lawmakers advance bill to reclassify abortion drugs, worrying doctors

Local News

Biden administration canceling student loans for another 160,000 borrowers

Local News

Average US vehicle age hits record 12.6 years as high prices force people to keep them longer

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column: New constitution is tough sell

Local News

The Informer: Rare cases of people being infected with bird flu

Local News

Mayor: Iowa will join Summer Food Service Program despite initial concerns

Local News

PHOTO GALLERY: Salvation Army reopens emergency shelter after four-year absence