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Tom Sakal

Football ∙ Aliquippa

 

 

 

 

Tom Sakal was one of the most successful athletes of his era. Born and raised in the Logstown section of Aliquippa, Tom was a two sport star on the Quips football and basketball teams. As a senior in football, he was named Aliquippa’s most valuable player and received honorable mention All State honors, and in basketball, he led the Quips in scoring, was named team MVP, and earned first team All Section and honorable mention All State honors. Tom received over 100 college scholarship offers for both basketball and football, but decided to play football at the University of Minnesota, where he was a three year starter for the Gophers, and was a three time All Big 10 Conference selection and an honorable mention All American in 1965 and 1967. He was named Minnesota’s MVP as a senior and played in the Blue-Gray Classic and the Hula Bowl. In spring 1968, Tom was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the tenth round of the NFL draft, and was a member of the Viking’s taxi squad for eleven games before being drafted into military service. Tom served for three years as a machine gunner and platoon sergeant in fought in Vietnam. After his military service, Tom became an executive in the insurance industry. Tom asked that the following be inscribed on his Hall of Fame plaque: “Utilizing principles of athletics while demonstrating outstanding leadership skills with commitment to excellence, you have brought honor to your family, pride to your community, and recognition to yourself.”