By Tim Chambers
The desire to win and succeed is evident within the Kerley coaching family. Head coach Don Kerley and defensive coordinator, Tom Kerley, helped set the bar high back in 1988 by leading the Longhorns to their only home playoff game ever.
Those genes have been passed down to their two sons who have overcome some difficult obstacles to make football a part of their life. They are hoping those two ingredients will help them unlock the door to a great football season in 2016.
Will and Sam Kerley are already an inspiration to anyone that ever wanted to play football. Both have overcome some major obstacles in their life to put on a uniform.
Will had to set out his sophomore season due to a severe back injury. Sam booted some serious childhood health issues and surgeries to the curb and is hoping to earn some playing time on the football field.
“It feels great to be back in a football uniform,” said Will. “ I love playing for my dad and uncle and what they represent as coaches. I’m excited to be back on the team with all my buddies and teammates. Last year was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I don’t ever want to do that again.”
Will was referring to the back injury that sidelined him for most of his sophomore season. The doctors didn’t know at first if he would ever make it back to the gridiron.
“I had some doubt but I didn’t give up,” said Will. “I managed to get through last season but it was difficult. It was sad watching and not being able to contribute anything. My back hasn’t hurt very much so far and I’m trying to play my way back into shape. I’m just thankful to be playing again. You never know how much you miss something until it is gone.”
The “will” to play football has always been there for Sam Kerley. But his huge heart and determination to never give up helped him get though some major childhood health issues to be a role model for everyone on the team.
“I enjoy football and being a Longhorn,” said Sam. “I’ve always wanted to play on a team with my cousins and for my dad. I’m trying to earn some playing time and make the most of my opportunity. I’m just happy to be a part of this. I enjoy playing football more than any sport. It makes it even better having my Uncle Tom as the defensive coach.”
For the rest of the story pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.