Greenville High missing a part of their football program - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Greenville High missing a part of their football program

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

GREENVILLE, GA (WTVM) - While High School Football teams suit up for their first scrimmage of the season, one team is missing a big part of their program.

Coach Jeremy Williams spent the last nine seasons at Greenville High School.  Some say he raised the football program from the dead. Four times in that nine years he took the team to state playoffs. But, the last two years, he was facing a tougher opponent than the other team.

Williams was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease -slowly deteriorating his muscles.

Last season, he coached from a wheel chair on the sidelines. 

"Last year when we came in, he really had to delegate his authority to other people.  Lou Gehrig's mean he had to do lots of delegation," said Roger McDonald.

One of those people he delegated to was Coach Roger McDonald.  He has been named interim head coach at Greenville.  Williams decided to retire in June.

Senior Football player LaMarcus Tenny said, "I just looked up to him as a man.  With the disease he has, some people couldn't phase that.  They would have just got in their bed and called it, they're dead. But, he kept striving, he didn't give up on us.  He came back a year even though got down.  So, I look up to him." 

"The biggest thing I think is the kids loved seeing Coach Williams, not just here at football, but in the hallways.  His story had become their story," said McDonald.

McDonald said he spent last season working under coach Williams learning more than just Greenville football. "His believe in the Lord and how he lived life.  I think that is more important than taking any football knowledge from him.  Seeing that personal side of him.  How he changed the bad hand he was dealt in to something so positive," explained McDonald.

Greenville plays a scrimmage with Callaway at 7:00 on Friday.

Williams is now solely dependant on his wheelchair and uses a breathing machine most of the day.

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