Former Michigan State special teams football player Demond Williams has been dedicated to family, character and football his entire life. This year, he is sharing his inspiring and well-rounded experience with hundreds of elementary and junior high school students across Arizona, as Athletic Supervisor for La Paloma Academy in Tucson, Heritage Elementary School in Glendale and Williams, and Liberty Traditional Charter School in Phoenix and Douglas.
More than 170 Heritage and La Paloma students tried out on May 11th for the new football leagues that Williams will oversee. The first tackle football game will take place on September 6 at La Paloma Academy’s central campus, with LPA Central competing against LPA Lakeside. Outback Steakhouse and Kids First will be sponsoring the game.
“We’re thrilled that Williams’ athletic background will allow all three charter school systems to add tackle football teams to their sports offerings for the 2012-2013 school year,” said Superintendent Raena Janes. “The students have been eager to take part.”
“At the same time, Mr. Williams’ personal experiences make him a unique role model for the kids he teaches and coaches,” added Janes. “He has overcome numerous challenges to reach his football and academic goals while continuing to honor his family commitments.”
Despite losing both of his parents by the time he was in high school, Williams remained focused on his football and college goals, always aware of the role model he represented to his younger sisters. Williams went on to play cornerback for the Pima Community College football team in Tucson and later played on the special teams unit at Michigan State, a school that allowed him to reside near his sister.
La Paloma Academy, Heritage Elementary School and Liberty Traditional Charter Schools are character-based schools serving kindergarten through eighth-grade students. In addition to focusing on academics and community service, each school implements a values curriculum based on the Character Counts! program’s Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
The tuition-free schools also offer art, computer and P.E. classes, as well as extracurricular sports teams including Williams’ new tackle football leagues. The football programs at the charter schools serve students ages 11-14 who try out and make the team.