By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
The birds sang about it and the Bible spoke of it. “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”
No one will ever question that the 2017 football season was the most successful one in Johnson County’s school history. A lot of special young me could be found on that team. Many of them will take their talents to variety of schools to participate in college athletics. One however is ready to answer the highest of all callings. Will Kerley has decided to attend Fruitland Bible College in Hendersonville, North Carolina to pursue his calling to the ministry. It’s one that he’s felt since age 14.
Kerley statue was small on the football field but he played like a giant on defense. His coaches always labeled him as one who had heart. Now Kerley ready to give his “heart” to a different profession although he admitted to missing football.
“Last year was a special season for all of us,” said Kerley. We had some great players but it was really all about the team. We all enjoyed helping one another to try and be at our best. That’s want I want to do as a Christian and pastor. I want to work for Christ to try and make a difference in people’s lives.”
Kerley didn’t get to play his sophomore season and the team struggled at times during his junior year. Kerley could relate those struggles. He spoke of failing his first true test.
“I failed as a Christian athlete for a while because I wanted to blend in. I pretty much lived for me until the spring of my junior year. That’s when I made up my mind to live for God and do His will. I wanted to be a leader for Him. It was time to get serious.”
Kerley was an excellent leader on the field and is now proving himself in the pulpit as a young pastor and gospel singer. He learned one thing in life that helped him behind the pulpit and on the gridiron.
“I had to fully submit because I wasn’t all in it for God. I had to totally surrender and be a part of God’s team. That’s the only way you can have success in trying to win people to Christ.”
Kerley was that type of player for the Longhorns. He made numerous big plays on defense and was a key contributor and leader. His goal is to continue be that type of contributor at Fruitland.
“I want to show my friends and all those around me that there is a better life. I want them to know that nothing comes easy, that you must work hard to reach the top.”
Kerley praised his dad Tom and uncle Don as two of the biggest influences in his life. He also applauded his other coaches for setting good examples and making football fun.
“It was like a dream come true, a great accomplishment as to what we did last year going 11-1 and being undefeated and ranked third in the state. But there is so much more in life that is more important than sports. I’m always asking, did I do enough and was I a role model? Fans don’t always see everything we do on the football field and sometimes we can get by with a missed assignment or two with our coaches. That’s not the case with God. He sees all we do in our daily walk for Him and doesn’t need to watch a game film.”
Kerley won’t leave Johnson County with any individual football records but he hopes people will remember him for one thing.
“I hope people will say that Will loved Jesus and told people about the Lord. I hope they will see that I tried to give his all for Him.”