NFL player Sylvester Williams gives back to Jefferson City
JEFFERSON CITY - Sylvester Williams has accomplished a lot as a football player.
The Denver Broncos starting nose tackle wrapped up his third NFL season with a Super Bowl triumph as his team beat the Carolina Panthers, 24-10.
"The feeling of winning is unbelievable because I've accomplished the ultimate goal at the highest level in the sport that I play," Williams said.
For Jefferson City head football coach Ted LePage, watching the defensive lineman he once coached play in Super Bowl 50 was a surreal moment.
"Here’s a dude chasing Cam Newton and he was just in our high school a few years ago. So it was exciting the whole time," LePage said.
Williams suited up on Friday nights for LePage for one year, in 2008. Because of that season, Williams wanted to give back to the community that gave him an opportunity to pursue his dream.
"This is some of my roots and I’ve been able to be here and be blessed to be a part of some of the programs here," Williams said.
USA Football helped Williams organize a football camp for kids in Jefferson City on June 18. LePage, Arkansas running back Kody Walker and Lincoln University receiver Khiry Draine were among the staff members that returned to Adkins Stadium to help Williams run the event.
A former teammate of Williams, Walker couldn't pass up the opportunity to help his friend out.
"When I heard about it, I had to come back and help. I love, especially, what he’s doing for the community, for these kids," Walker said.
LePage describes watching his former players return to help out the Jefferson City community as "humbling."
"It is a very big honor to think that many guys were affected by this program and then want to come back and give back to these young people," LePage said.
Williams says the event's success surpassed his expectations.
"I think we had 115 T-shirts and ran out so it was a blessing. I didn’t expect this many kids so to have this many kids show out; that was exciting," Williams said.
Williams won't be in Jefferson City for much longer as he continues to prepare for the 2016 NFL season, but his hometown will continue to motivate him to work as hard as he can.
"The support I’ve received, the love I got back here and all of the fans I got back here definitely motivates me and pushes me that much harder every day so I got a tremendous amount of support right here and it means everything," Williams said.
Williams said he plans on bringing the camp back to Jefferson City next year.