BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (BVM) — Sometimes, the best athletes come from the worst situations. Growing up in poverty, losing a loved one or having a near-death experience are all things we’ve seen elite athletes overcome and use as motivation to create something better for themselves. They don’t let those hardships define them.
For Bainbridge High School football player Jamauri Williams, the fact that he has no hands has never slowed him down.
Williams was born with a birth defect, leaving him without hands on both arms. This would make it hard to catch a football, hard to lift weights, hard to do many things that other football players can accomplish with ease. But the freshman wide receiver finds ways to continue moving forward.
Head coach Jeff Littleton says that Williams doesn’t make any excuses.
“In the weight room he’s always asking for alternate ways to do a lift or he creates something himself,” Littleton said. “Today we did power cleans and he can’t do that, so he does box jumps and squats. He probably did 200 box jumps today.”
The determination is beginning to pay off. In the Bearcats’ 42-0 playoff win over Westside Macon, Williams caught a five-yard pass, his first at the varsity level. And if his work ethic is any indication, there should be more where that came from in the future.
What’s stopping you from achieving your dreams?
At 11, I’m talking with Jamauri Williams. He’s a freshman on the Bainbridge varsity football team. He was born without hands.
— Jacob Murphey (@jmurpheyWCTV) December 2, 2020
For Williams, it’s easy to continue working hard. He’s just another guy on the team. He doesn’t let his disability allow him to be inferior. And neither do his teammates. The Bearcats have had the freshman’s back all season long.
“There’s no doubt (his teammates are supportive). He grew up around them…what he does is encouraging to others,” Littleton said. “It’s amazing to watch him compete. You can see the determination and focus in his eyes.”
Jamauri is appreciative of the support and the opportunity to be on the field. Although the team was up big and it was late in the game, Williams earned that chance to be on the gridiron. Any time a ninth-grader gets time on the varsity stage, it’s impressive.
Littleton said that oftentimes, their coaching staff tries to validate their younger players hard work by finding them some on-field moments when appropriate.
“It means a lot,” Williams said. “Coach believed in me.”
Another person that Williams credits a lot of this recognition to is his mother, Colby. Colby Williams has been her son’s number one fan from the start; all the way from the backyard to the elementary school team where he got his official start.
“She’s been encouraging me the whole way,” Williams said. “I love her and thank her for that.”
But when it comes down to it, Williams created these chances all by himself. With a high character and his values correctly prioritized, the young wide receiver has impressed people all across the nation.
“He worries about working hard, doing his best, doing the little things,” Littleton said. “Above all else, he wants to be a successful, hard working kid that does the right things.”