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New Hanover High dedicates field to Jurgensen, Gabriel

READ MORE: New Hanover High dedicates field to Jurgensen, Gabriel
WILMINGTON -- Not every high school can claim two NFL quarterbacks as alums. But New Hanover High can. And Friday night they honored Sonny Jurgensen and Roman Gabriel by renaming the field at legion stadium after them. Jurgensen said, "It feels good, it's quite a thing, to be here and to be back here, it's the first time Roman and I have been on this field since we played here." Gabriel said, "Sonny and I have put a lot of points on people's score boards, but we never have had our nasty names up there." Both former Wildcat quarterbacks, both Hall of Famers, now both of their names will be immortalized as Mayor Bill Saffo and County Commission Chair Bill Castor made the dedication official. Gabriel said, "On the ride over here Sonny and I were talking about people, especially the young people don't know who we are and now the next generation is going to ride by the stadium and say, who is that Jurgensen Gabriel guy?" Jurgensen said, "Roman and I both are thrilled to be honored this way, believe me, it's mind boggling to think that something like this could happen to two young guys that started at New Hanover High School." Gabriel, a two-time All American and a four-time Pro Bowl selection, was inducted in to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989. Jurgensen earned three NFL passing titles and was a five-time Pro Bowl pick. Jurgensen was inducted in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. Both will be remembered nationally as NFL legends, but here they're local kids who made good. Jurgensen graduated from New Hanover High in 1953 and Gabriel in 1958. They both say it was the stellar coaching of Leon Brogden at New Hanover that helped them have such successful careers.

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