Andrew Billings, Waco great and NFL lineman, hosts second annual youth football camp
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Former Waco High great, Baylor alum, and current NFL defensive tackle Andrew Billings hosted his second annual free youth football camp for kids ages 10-14 at Waco ISD Stadium over the weekend.
He flew all the way from Chicago for the week just to do this event and said he never wants to miss this event because he understands the impact that a camp will have on the future of football.
“It’s just motivation, really,” said Billings. “It’s just a good day for them to get out and have some fun and give back to the community. It’s all fun, but you know kids say ‘He’s faster than me, and you know I wanna be faster than him next year.” That’s what we try to inspire, a little self-competition with yourself and others.”
Longtime Waco ISD athletic trainer Jerry Williams also commented on how important the summertime is for football players to take advantage of in preparation for the season.
“It’s a great opportunity, you know, you got to work during the summer,” said Williams. “You know August will be here before you know it, and whatever they are participating in, mostly football, you can’t lay off all summer and come back in August and expect to be ready.”
The defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears also had some help over the weekend from some of his former Baylor teammates and some local high school coaches. This included Waco High’s Linden Heldt and University High’s Kaeron Johnson, who goes way back with Billings.
“It takes you back to when you were their age,” said Johnson. “And it’s just a plus for me with it being Billings and us playing together at Baylor. Seeing him come in as a true freshman and lift more weight than anybody in there, and to see it now and everything that he’s doing for this place, it’s just awesome.”
His camp hosted around 200 kids, and he hopes for it to grow in the future. Though, what he really cares about is being the best role model he can be to his hometown.
“It’s huge because, you know I was here before so I know what it does for the kids because it did the same for me,” said Billings. “On the field, it helps because I know kids are watching, on the field and off the field. Everybody is always watching you, and they really give me some motivation. On gameday, seriously, I think about the kids.”
While the kids give him motivation, Billings is also an inspiration to them.
“Yeah, I won’t forget it,” said camp attendee Cole Swanson. “It just helps me knowing that people from here can also make it in the same position that I am.”
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