By Kevin Eickman
On Friday night September 13, The Milford High School 12th Man Gridiron Club will indoctrinate four new members into the Hall of Fame. The inductees will be Brandon LeGrand, David Dill, Brandon Kenzierski and Charles “Bucky” Johnson. Over the next few weeks MilfordLIVE will be featuring stories on each of the inductees so the community can get to know them better.
When Coach Mike Tkach first arrived at Milford back in 2001, he noticed the trophy case and began to wonder about the history of Milford football. Looking through old yearbooks and speaking to people he had never met, he soon discovered how deeply embedded football was in the Milford community. One of the people Tkach spoke with was Jack Simon, a long-time coach and resident of Milford. Their shared passion for football and respect of the history of the game presented them with the thought of a Milford Football Hall of Fame.
“I was new here and was fascinated with the town and the people in it. When I discovered how long football had been such a big deal in Milford, I wanted to do something to honor that,” said Tkach.
Tkach and Simon kicked the idea around for a few years and with the blessing of the school’s administration they established the club in 2007, with the initial class being inducted in 2008. From then on they have kept to their goal of inducting two to four players and contributors of Milford Football.
A committee of eight people, some football coaches and others just members of the community with close ties to Milford, select each year’s inductees. They meet and go over the merits of the nomination forms, verify the information and select the honorees. One of the greatest joys is when Simon contacts those that are to be inducted and informs them of the good news.
“It’s pretty exciting, emotions run from excitement to disbelief,” said Simon. But the one thing that they all have in common is they are always honored and humbled.”
The thing to understand is that this endeavor is not for them, it is for the fans. The fans of the Buccaneers who fill the stadium on Friday nights in good times and in bad. There is one requirement to join the club; you just have to be a fan of Milford football. “We do it as a celebration of our town, of Milford football,” Simon stated. “This is a labor of love so that the fans who are attending the games get to know the greats of the past.”
Joining the club helps perpetuate the history of Milford football past, present and future. Members that join on a yearly basis will receive a club hat as well as $2 off admission to every regular season home game. This also entitles members to attend the Hall of Fame Banquet where they get a chance to meet some old friends or make some new ones while enjoying some good down home cooking. There is also a lifetime membership for $150 that entitles members to all of the above and they will also receive a special hat indicating lifetime member status as well as a quality windbreaker.
Besides membership, the club is always looking for nominations for the Hall of Fame. If Milford Footbal fans would like to join the club or nominate a past player, they can reach out to Mike Tkach at Michael.Tkach@cape.k12.de.us The club is also in the process of creating a group Facebook page “MHS 12th Man Gridiron Club” in an effort to create a social media presence.
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.