LeGrand highlights Milford 12th Man Gridiron Club Hall induction

Jack Simon, far right, presents Brandon LeGrand’s mother, brother, sister and four children during Friday night’s Hall of Fame ceremony. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

MILFORD — Though he wasn’t there to witness it, Raymond LeGrand III knew his brother was looking down with a smile on his face.

During halftime of Milford High’s 26-17 football win over Delaware Military Academy Friday night at Briggs Stadium, the late Brandon LeGrand was honored as one of the inductees into the 12th Man Gridiron Club Hall of Fame.

Charles “Bucky” Johnson, David Dill and Brandon Kendzierski rounded out the four-player induction class in the Milford football Hall of Fame’s 12th year.

Brandon Legrand

“It’s surreal. It really is a special moment. He literally was aiming for this, that’s what he wanted, to have a positive thing for himself,” Raymond said. “So, even though he’s not here in the flesh, I know he’s looking down and smiling.”

LeGrand, who passed away July 14 in a motorcycle accident at age 28, ran for 3,777 yards and 53 touchdowns during his career at Milford. Both were school records at the time.

During the brief halftime presentation, Raymond was joined by his mother Wanda, his sister Sharane and Brandon’s four children to accept the honor on his behalf.

“He’s getting honored amongst the greats of Milford — I didn’t know it was as huge as it is, at first I just thought it was four people from his class,” said Raymond.

During the 2008 state playoff run, LeGrand totaled 644 rushing yards and six touchdowns in two games as he led the Bucs to the program’s only football state championship. He ran for 225 yards and a pair of TDs in Milford’s 20-0 title victory over Laurel High that November.

Accepting the honor on behalf of Johnson, who passed away in 2000, was his wife, Francis, and his two sons Mark and Mike.

Johnson hadn’t put on a Milford uniform in more than seven decades, but Bob Voshell nominated Bucky for the honor and Mike received the call from the Hall of Fame’s co-founder Jack Simon about a month ago.

Bucky Johnson’s wife, Francis, and sons Mike (left) and Mark accept the Hall of Fame honor on his behalf Friday night.

“It’s a great honor, it really is,” said Mark. “We were ecstatic when we heard he was actually being inducted.”

Mark hopes the induction of his father will open the door for some of the other great players of that era.

“I guess, since he played all the way back in the 1940s, sometimes you think you’re gone and maybe forgotten,” Mark said. “My dad passed away in 2000, so it’s been a long time and they didn’t have the Hall of Fame when he was alive.

“It’s nice that it’s happening now. We’re very happy that he’s being recognized and hopefully more players from that era will start getting recognized too.”

Kendzierski, who was joined on the field by his mother and father during the ceremony, was a two-way starter along the offensive and defensive line for the Bucs. He also wrestled during his time at Milford.

Though he had a highly successful football career as an All-Conference and All-State selection, Brandon says he was shocked when he found out he’d be inducted as a member of this year’s class.

“Honestly, I think it’s pretty cool. I’ve been saying since the beginning that it’s an honor, I was completely shocked when I found out a couple weeks ago,” said Kendzierski. “I keep telling people that I don’t know if I’m supposed to be as honored as I am, but I was pretty excited. Feels good to be recognized.”

Kendzierski still resides in Milford and enjoys catching athletic events when he can.

Dill, rounding out the class, was joined on the field for the ceremony by his wife, Christina.

The former quarterback was a bit surprised by the Hall call as well, considering it had been more than 30 years since he last put on the Milford uniform.

Dill quarterbacked the Bucs in the mid-1980s, while also being a two-time All-State baseball selection at shortstop in 1987 and ’88.

“It’s been quite a while since I’ve played, but it’s still nice to be recognized after all these years. I got the call and it was a true surprise,” Dill said. “After 30 years, it’s a great honor and now to see all the success they’ve been having it’s a lot easier to come to games than back when we played.”

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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