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Michael Williams preaches to ‘don’t give up’ after overcoming obstacles

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 10:27 PM CDT
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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - Like many in Louisiana, Michael Williams, Jr. loves football. For as long as he could remember, the game has been a part of his life, and it’s something that he’s never stopped crafting at.

“Since I was born, a football was the first thing I picked up,” Williams said. “It keeps me away from everything and clears my head.”

You may remember seeing Williams running across the field at ASH, making long catches like in his sophomore year against Peabody.

“When it’s crunch time, I love the rush when everyone is depending on you to make a play,” Williams.

Mike’s football career would be put on pause, not only did COVID-19 stop the world of sports, but it shut down his mother when she contracted the virus.

“I had to step up and say, ‘I can’t do it,’” Shauntae Perry, Michael’s mother, said. “As a mother, that makes you feel like you don’t have anything in you to give.”

Because Shauntae couldn’t take care of her kids, she made a tough decision. She sent Michael and his siblings to live with their uncle in Haughton, La., two hours away.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Perry said. “I battled with that as a mom, but I’m glad that I made that decision.”

The move became tough on everyone, but Mike embraced the change to make the best of a tough situation.

“It was hard,” Williams said. “Once I got there, everyone loved me and treated me like their own. I was everywhere. I was trying to fit in and figure out where I needed to be and what I needed to do.”

Mike fit into Haughton’s offense immediately, helping the Bucs finish the shortened season with an 8-2 record. In the midst of their success, he would run into another roadblock.

One night while at a party, Michael suffered a gunshot to his lower left leg. His nerves were damaged, and his football season came to an end.

“I went into a really dark place,” Williams said. “I was angry at the world for my mistakes. I was putting it on everybody when it was my fault.”

“All I could do was drop to the floor,” Perry said. “My heart dropped to the floor, but he’s still here. I knew that the Lord had a purpose.”

We’ve seen this story go in the wrong direction multiple times but once again, Mike made the best of a tough situation. He learned how to do everything over again, starting with just walking and then running.

“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Williams said.

Mike didn’t give up and is now fully recovered while taking care of his two kids.

“I’m blessed,” Williams said. “It makes me feel like the Lord has something in store for me. The things that other people see in me; I know the Lord has those things in store for me. I have to achieve it.”

Because he didn’t quit, he’ll get another chance to play at the next level. He’ll attend the Diamond Football Academy in Lubbock, TX in the fall. He’ll be able to keep scoring touchdowns on the field and keeping his goals in line for his future.

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