The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Sports

June 24, 2007

A Hero's Welcome Home

Peterson honored with parade, presentation

PALESTINE — For the first time in four years, Adrian Peterson was back on the field where it first began.

The 2003 Palestine High School graduate was honored Saturday with a parade through downtown Palestine and a presentation at Palestine High School’s Wildcat Stadium as the day was proclaimed “Adrian Peterson Day.”

“This day is special to me,” Peterson said to the crowd who gathered at Wildcat Stadium Saturday morning. “Growing up in Palestine, this is definitely an honor and a dream come true.”

Peterson played football as a junior and senior at Palestine High School, earning the attention of college coaches as he became the top recruit in the nation as a senior.

Peterson played at the University of Oklahoma for three years and in April, he was drafted No. 7 overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL draft.

“I hope this is an inspiration for all the young kids, that just because you came from a small town like Palestine, the sky is the limit as long as you believe and you show determination,” said Peterson, who was wearing a No. 1 Vikings’ jersey. “I am going to represent Palestine to my fullest.”

Palestine Mayor Carolyn Salter opened the stadium event by presenting Peterson with a proclamation, naming June 2, 2007 “Adrian Peterson Day,” and a platter, donated by Marilyn and Joe Ed Johnston and engraved by Dickens Jewelry.

“Adrian is our first official Palestine hometown hero,” Salter said. “We look for Adrian to be an ambassador of Palestine.”

There also were a handful of keynote speakers, including Palestine Independent School District Superintendent Jerry Mayo, PHS graduate and former Dallas Cowboy Guy Brown, Peterson’s high school football coach Jeff Harrell and current Wildcat football coach and athletic director Glen Tunstall.

Harrell, who coached Peterson in both football and track, took the crowd on a trip back in time as he reflected on his star player.

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