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Published September 07, 2011, 02:43 PM

Phil Hansen: More behind the Legend

Forman, ND (WDAY TV) - The name Phil Hansen is legendary in the high school ranks in North Dakota, but for the current batch of players, he's just a name. That's not the case in Forman, where one student found out there was much more behind the legend.

By: Jody Norstedt, WDAY

Forman, ND (WDAY TV) - The name Phil Hansen is legendary in the high school ranks in North Dakota, but for the current batch of players, he's just a name. That's not the case in Forman, where one student found out there was much more behind the legend.

“Phil Hansen was born on Monday, May 20th, 1968 in Ellendale, North Dakota and started school in Oakes elementary. Hansen was a 2-time all conference selection, and went on in life to set records for Oakes High School which he still holds today.”

Markus Mahrer is a sophomore at Sargent Central High School and like many boys that grew up around the area, he knows the name Phil Hansen. But he was assigned a unique project last year pushed him to learn even more.

Chris Larson – Sargent Central Football Coach: “We do it every year in my study class. It's something that connects history and kids have the opportunity to pick different topics that they may really be interested in.”

Markus Mahrer – Wrote Essay on Phil Hansen: “I thought I could really connect with the topic and him and growing up in small town.”

Chris Larson, his teacher and football coach, was impressed with the final product.

“Markus had a lot of stats and figures, career highlights...”

“He had one career touchdown against the Oakland Raiders, a fumble he scooped up and ran back for a touchdown.”

But perhaps the most important thing Markus learned about Phil, never showed up in any box score.

“That really hard work can pay off, you can make it to whatever you want to be in life.”

At first Hansen thought it was prank call, but it was Ralph Wilson congratulating him on being the 27th player going into the Bills Wall of Fame.

“First I was shocked, looked at the number, Mr. Wilson got a chuckle. When I look back I was a consistent, dependable football player, not fancy, that's what I was and with all the great names around me, did my role, I did it as well as I could.”

Next Wednesday we'll talk to the baseball Hall of Fame on the new voting process for the veterans committee.

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