Ken Hall

When Cedric Benson wrapped up his high school career this year, the star of Midland Lee’s football team had rushed for 8,423 yards, earning the title of the best running back in Texas. But even those eye-popping stats put him far behind the state’s most prolific rusher of all time. Ken Hall, who played for Sugar Land from 1950 to 1954, ran, dived, spun, and hurdled his way to a staggering 11,232 yards. During his senior year alone, the man dubbed the Sugar Land Express rushed for 4,045 yards, a distance some people don’t walk in a year. Now 65—“I’ve joined the society of Medicare and Social Security,” he says—Hall has remade his name as part of another great Texas pastime: eating barbecue. Fifteen years ago he moved to the Hill Country town of Fredericksburg, where he opened Ken Hall’s Barbecue Place. His specialty? “If you can’t do brisket in Texas,” he says, “you should close the doors. And we do brisket well.” Until recently, he also announced local high school football games, proving that he hasn’t lost his love of the sport. “I follow it, and I pay attention to it,” he says. “To me, it’s real football. Still, every fall, writers call me and ask how many records I have, and I tell them, ‘I don’t know. I don’t keep up with that anymore.’”

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