Senior Send-Off: Reilly Williams
A farewell to stadium nachos in the student section.
By Miranda Townley
Reilly Williams will enter Coleman Coliseum on May 6, 2017, a student of the University of Alabama and will exit the Coliseum as an alumnus. His family will be in attendance, waiting to hear his name called as he walks across the stage in an oversized black gown with two gleaming crimson “A’s” embroidered on the front. He will shake President Bell’s hand and grab a replica diploma that signifies his hard work and determination to earn a business degree.
Williams graduated from Oakman High School in 2013 and was determined to play football in college. He spoke with many colleges around the state, but knew if he could land an ambassador scholarship at Bevill State Community College, that it was the best decision to accept the scholarship.
The ambassador scholarship pays for two years of tuition and books. Free college makes a mama’s heart feel good. William’s mother, Rhonda, wanted her son close to home and Bevill State was only 10 minutes away from their small town in Oakman, Alabama.
“I jumped up and down when Reilly told me he got the ambassador scholarship,” Rhonda Williams said. “It is truly an honor to be a Bevill State Ambassador and for him to stay close to home was much easier on me letting him go sooner that I wanted to.”
Williams was involved in many community outreach events as an ambassador. This includes Salvation Army projects, working with the Walker County Chamber of Commerce and recruiting students from area high schools to attend Bevill State.
“I met so many people as an ambassador–they have really become great connections for me trying to find a job,” Williams said. “Bevill is in the small city of Jasper and you are able to form relationships that help in a world where it is all about who you know.”
Williams earned his associates degree in Business Administration from Bevill State and chose to attend the University of Alabama to complete a bachelor’s degree in business.
“I chose to go to Alabama because we have one of the top business schools in America. It is still close to my hometown and the football team weighed heavily in my decision,” Williams said.
He began his time at Alabama in Bidgood Hall as a business student and will soon earn a bachelor’s degree to commemorate his efforts, graduating on time by completing his requirements in the sought after time of four years.
The most memorable day Williams had as a student is the Alabama versus LSU football game in 2015, where it rained all day and throughout the entire football game. The Friday night before the game, Williams broke his phone and had to wake up early the next game day to get a new phone before his game day festivities began.
“It rained on us all day at the quad, but we did not care one bit,” Williams said. “There is something about fighting through crazy weather conditions for a big game that make it all the more exciting, because only the passionate fans can handle it.”
In a tent of more than 50 people on the quad, Williams and his friends tailgated before the game as if it was a perfect, sunny day. They sang “Dixieland Delight” to the top of their lungs and played flip cup until it was time to enter the stadium.
Williams ate his favorite meal in Bryant-Denny stadium and enjoyed the victory among more than 100,000 Alabama football fans. Dreamland stadium nachos with jalapenos and a Sprite filled his hunger and satisfied his soul as he watched his team do what they do best, dominate.
“I was afraid my brother would go to school at Alabama and party all the time, and let go of his grades. But he really did not give in to that stigma associated with big schools,” Haley Williams said. “Reilly has made me so proud and I am so glad he was able to attend the school we love to cheer for every Saturday in the fall.”
Williams has accepted a job at Contamination Control Services as a sales representative. His internship there in the fall and summer semester helped him gain this position.
“Incoming students need to get at least one internship to help build a connection that may help them get a job one day,” Williams said. “College is hard, but it is every bit worth the fun times and the stressful times.”
Williams will continue to support the Alabama ‘Crimson Tide,’ and will still order those Dreamland stadium nachos with a Sprite during a football game. The view will be different as an alumnus, but still so sweet.