Todd Willis: Lessons on the Field

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Photo by Caelin Cox

Todd Willis, 10, plays in the Oct. 6 game against DeSoto High School.

Cameron Hooper, Staff Writer

Five yards behind the center, sophomore Todd Willis receives the snap as adrenaline flows through his body. It takes a lot of poise to stay calm and aware while throwing, but this isn’t a struggle for Willis who has been playing quarterback for seven years now.   

Willis began playing football at 6 to see how he would feel about it. He started off with flag football, not really enjoying it until mid-season when he began to love the game. 

It has forced me to become more disciplined and consistent. I’m going to sleep on time, doing my work to make sure I’m eligible and just making sure I’m in a position where I can play at my best.”

— Todd Willis, 10

“I got to that first practice not wanting to be there,” Willis said. “As the season went on, I just started enjoying it more.” 

When he tried football for the first time, he didn’t know how much of an impact it would have on his life. Willis made changes to ensure he’d play at his best every day. 

“It has forced me to become more disciplined and consistent,” Willis said. “I’m going to sleep on time, doing my work to make sure I’m eligible and just making sure I’m in a position where I can play at my best.”

As a quarterback for JV, Willis has learned more about leadership and how to serve as a leader to his team and classmates. 

“When you’re leading the team, everything runs through on the offensive side of the ball,” Willis said. “I just try and make sure everybody’s doing the best things to keep the team on the right pace.”

He also tries to make a difference on people and in the world whenever the opportunity comes.

“I want people to know that I was a good teammate and a good leader, and that I did what I needed to do off the field as well, like getting good grades and helping people,” Willis said.

Teammate Charles Williams believes in Willis because of the leadership skills he displays.

“Todd is my brother and he steps up and leads the team when needed. He’s a good leader,” Williams said. “He’s a good guy, so everyone wants to be around him and there’s an aspiration from others to follow him. They have faith in him that he’ll always show up.”

Along with football, Willis values his family and his faith in God above everything else. 

“My family has helped me in a lot of ways, whether it’s supporting me at sports games or just being there when I need them,” Willis said. “Family means a lot to me.”