LAWTON, Okla (KSWO) - A little over a year ago Will Shields was inducted in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Shields mentioned his love for the city of Lawton and Lawton High several times during that week. On Friday, his hometown got a chance to show him some of that love.
Shields showed up at his old stomping grounds for a pep rally and was greeted with a big surprise.
"There will be a new street sign that is posted on east entry to the Lawton High parking lot, next to the practice field. That sign states Will Shields Drive," said Lawton Mayor Fred Fitch.
"It's really as they say, speechless. To the point of you've got a sign. You've got different things going up on the school. When you come into town you have a billboard. It's one of those things that's sort of surreal. It's awesome," Shields said.
"He has supported the Lawton Public School system, the young people playing football and all other sports in this community. He's shown these young people, if he can do it, they can do it, too," Mayor Fitch said. "He's just a tremendous asset. He's a man of integrity. And we felt as though, with the greatness he has brought to the attention of Lawton, Oklahoma by being who he is in the NFL and throughout his career, we needed to honor him here at Lawton High."
Shields induction in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame was obviously a once in a lifetime moment. But getting a chance to be honored by his hometown and his old high school is pretty special as well.
"It is an honor, an honor, to have my name out there in front of the school and forever to be a Lawton Wolverine," Shields said.
"It's where you grew up. It's where you had your roots start. To be honored here is really important because you get a chance to see the friends and family that didn't get to make the trip to Canton. And get to share with them something that's as special for you as being in Canton," Shields continued. "But they had a big part in it. They were the part that sort of steered you in the right way. Got you going, motivated in the right way. A lot of them did a lot of great things to help get you to that level. So you want to be able to say thank you at the same time."
The celebration continued Friday night when Shields' old high school jersey, number 78 was retired on the same field where he helped lead Lawton High to its last State Championship run back in 1987.
"It's really cool. That's one thing you love about it because you remember your years by the jersey you wore. And that's what it is. You sort of just think, 78 I did this, I did that, I did this. Then you take the next number and move on," he said. "So it just sort of sets your tone of what you can and can't remember in life of what you've accomplished this far."