The Trophy

LEFT: Kenny Washington receiving the trophy at his halftime retirement ceremony – 1949
RIGHT: Kenny’s grandsons Kirk and Kraig Washington with the trophy – 2011

First presented to Tiger football star Jimmy Cellino in 1949, the Kenny Washington Trophy has be awarded ever since to the Lincoln High School varsity football player deemed most outstanding for the year by his coaching staff.

The trophy – a part of the wonderful school history and culture at Lincoln High for over 6 decades – was first presented to Kenny during his halftime retirement ceremonies from professional football on December 12, 1949 at the Los Angeles Coliseum on a day proclaimed “Kenny Washington Day” by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. It was Kenny’s last game as a Los Angeles Ram.

The trophy was given to Kenny by the Helms Athletic Foundation and presented by its founder Paul Helms himself. Upon receiving the trophy, Kenny then immediately presented it to Lincoln High School principal Dr. Thomas M. Riley with the intention that it be a perpetual trophy for the school’s football program.

Shortly after his retirement Kenny Washington later returned to Lincoln – as he would continue to do frequently once his playing days were over – with his uncle Rocky Washington to personally present the trophy for the first time to the late Tiger great Jimmy Cellino.

Kenny’s name also appears on a perpetual trophy given to the U.C.L.A. Bruin Offensive Player of the Year and also on an award presented annually by the National Football League Players Association.