For Heritage Hall, all eyes on famous alum

Heritage Hall (Oklahoma City, Okla.) had no trouble whatsoever handling in-town opponent John Marshall on Thursday. Not only do the Chargers get a chance to enjoy the weekend with a victory, but they also will have the next few days to relax and recuperate as they enter a bye week.

Part of their relaxation time will involve watching the Cowboys and Patriots in Sunday’s NFL showdown. The Cowboys have the moniker of “America’s Team,” but as long as Wes Welker is in New England, the Patriots will be “Heritage Hall’s Team.”

Welker is a proud alumnus of Heritage Hall, and several members of the team have had the chance to meet him. Welker has had a stellar NFL career with the Chargers, Dolphins and now the Patriots. As a Patriot, he’s set receiving records with Tom Brady as quarterback.

While at Heritage Hall, Welker won an Oklahoma Class 2A state championship in 1998 with singer-songwriter Graham Colton at quarterback. He was named the 1999 Oklahoma Player of the Year by USA Today. Welker went on to play and excel at Texas Tech.

“I’ve been here 10 years, so I’ve got to see how much Wes has grown,” four-star Heritage Hall running back Barry Sanders said. “I remember when he came down to visit us in school, and he was still at Tech. To see him go to the [San Diego] Chargers and the Dolphins and now the Patriots, it means a lot.

“We all definitely make sure we keep up with him and his stats. Any time he’s able to get back, we’re always proud to say he’s a [Heritage Hall] Charger.”

Welker, now in his eighth season in the league, is the only player in NFL history to record three consecutive 110-reception seasons. What makes his numbers so impressive is that he was once considered too small to play the position. Welker is listed at 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds.

“He definitely put the school on the map, and he’s stood up for the little wide receivers like myself,” said four-star Heritage Hall receiver and Oklahoma commit Sterling Shepard, who is listed at 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds. “I can’t thank him enough for that.”