NEWBERRY — Willie Young, Newberry High School senior, has signed a letter of intent to play football at St. Andrews University.
Young, 17, is a linebacker for the Bulldogs and has been playing football since he was eight years old, but has been playing for the Bulldogs for the past four years.
However, before making football a priority, Young first tried playing basketball.
“I tried basketball, but football was just my passion and it just felt good under the lights,” Young said. “They (St. Andrews) just do things the right way, they seem very emotional about the sport the same way I am, and they have a lot of guidance and want you to do well.”
Young added that throughout his career, Newberry Head Coach Phil Strickland has taught him a lot.
“He has taught me things I didn’t know about football, he showed me how to play with my heart and just pointed me in the right direction,” Young said.
While at St. Andrews University, Young would like to pursue a major in business administration.
Young’s parents Jerry and Elenita were overwhelmed to see their son take the next step in his career.
“It’s an overwhelming feeling I can’t really express, but it’s a good feeling. We’re very proud of him, always have been. He’s always been a child with focus and wanted to move forward in life,” Elenita said.
When it came to choosing a school to attend, Young’s father, Jerry, told his son it was his decision where he went to school.
“I told him it was his decision. I brought him up telling him the decisions you make last you for the rest of your life. So I instilled in him at a young age that his decisions were on him as he got older and to always make the right decisions. Choices will be out there, but you have to make the right choice,” he said.
Strickland, who has watched Young grow into the player he is, is excited to see Young go to the next level.
“Willie is an outstanding young man, a great student and worked really hard to be a great football player and I think he will do well wherever he goes and whatever he does, I’m just real proud of him,” he said. “They (St. Andrews) will get a kid with a great work ethic and a good athlete, he’s also a good linebacker, he loves to hit and loves to tackle and that’s what they’re looking for and he’ll contribute any way he can. The best thing that I can say about him is that he is a great kid.”