Walter Payton's mother presented No. 34 jersey before prep game
By Fred Mitchell, Tribune reporter 2:07 p.m. CDT, August 27, 2011
The third annual Walter Payton Classic included a special pregame tribute Friday night.
Before the season-opener between Walter Payton College Prep and Shepard, the mother of the late Hall of Fame Bears running back was presented a No. 34 jersey.
Tony Faltin, head coach of the Grizzlies, presented Ms. Alyne Payton with the jersey No. 34, that has never been worn by a member of the school's team. Caleb Lendy, a graduate scholarship winner of Walter Payton Prep and now an assistant football coach at the school, also presented Ms. Payton with flowers during the pregame ceremony that was held at Lane Tech Stadium.
"The Payton family name has always symbolized excellence, not only on the football field, but in life as well," said school principal Tim Devine. "The name 'Sweetness' resonates in this town."
The Payton Scholarship has provided over $200,000 in higher educational assistance to students from the school.
"Words cannot express the way I feel," said Ms. Payton, who made the trip from Mississippi for the ceremony. "Anything that is connected with Walter brings me great pleasure and joy."
Ms. Payton took part in the pregame coin toss ceremony and kindly asked the captains of the Shepard team: "Don't be too rough on our boys from Payton."
However, Shepard prevailed 27-0.
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