Larry Southern, middle, is recognized at Friday's HHS sports banquet for his decades of dedicated support to Houston athletes and children.

Longtime Houston native Larry Southern, known for his dedicated support to athletes and kids in the community, was honored at Friday night’s HHS sports banquet with an award in his honor.

The Larry Southern award will be given out annually at the event, which was sponsored by the Houston Tiger Booster Club, to a supporter of Houston athletics.

More than 250 athletes and their families filled Hiett Gymnasium for the memorable evening, which began with a catered meal. Each team and its members were recognized by their coaches.

Kirk Pierce and Holly Thomas were named the Booster Club’s male and female players of the year. They were unanimously selected from a list of nominees by each coach.

At the end of the night, Southern received his surprise recognition from coach Brent Hall, a longtime friend. Southern’s family, which had snuck into the banquet without his knowledge, was there to watch a 15-minute video tribute that included photos of Southern’s life and more than 20 messages from Houston players and coaches past and present.

Click to watch a 15-minute tribute to Larry Southern, including messages from friends, coaches and athletes.

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