Former NFL player highlights first ‘Fuel Up to Play 60’ event
The first “Fuel up to Play 60 Tailgating Rally” included Schulenburg legend and former NFL player Willis Adams on Saturday, Feb. 17.
Youngsters came to Schulenburg ISD’s New Gym not only to participate in the exercises, but also to meet Schulenburg High’s most successful football player. A son of the late Reuben and Alice Adams, Willis grew up in Schulenburg and graduated from SHS in 1975. He was a sophomore in 1972 when Schulenburg won the 1A state football title and also ran on SHS’s 1975 state track team.
After high school, Adams played a season for Navarro Junior College in Corsicana and then went on to the University of Houston, graduating in 1978. The Cleveland Browns picked Adams in the first round of the 1979 NFL Draft. He played for the Browns from 1979 to 1985.
After his NFL career, Adams began teaching physical education at Sinclair Elementary in Houston. In 1989, he moved to Oak Forest Elementary in Houston, where he’s been ever since. In the New Gym on Saturday, Adams took pictures with future Shorthorns and dispensed handshakes to parents.
“To tell you the truth, most of my students back home don’t even know I was in the NFL,” he said. “Most people just know me by coach Adams, the P.E. teacher.”
Students there stood in line to get their picture with the former Browns wide receiver.
“For me, it’s all about the kids,” Adams explained. “The kids are the future. If we don’t take care of these kids now, there’s not going to be a future, for sports or anything else.”
At well over six feet tall, the 55-year-old coach Willis Adams looks like he could still run a fly route with ease, making it appropriate that he was asked to appear at Schulenburg’s first-ever Fuel Up to Play 60.
The event is part of a nationwide program sponsored by the NFL and the National Dairy Council in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. SISD received a $6,650 grant to implement healthy eating and physical activity strategies. Saturday’s event included fitness drills and nutrition stations. SISD school nurse Cindy Kalina said well over 200 youth attended and plans are to continue the event every year.
“We appreciate everyone who came out to help,” Kalina said. “Our goal is to make it bigger and better next year.”