NFL guard for the Houston Texans and LHHS alum, Wade Smith, poses with his mother, Sheila, at the LH Legends celebrity kick-off party
Summer Galves, VP/Director of The Wade Smith Foundation, with Wade
Time spent with clinic students included drills, lessons and one-on-one time with players
The kids football clinic was followed by the celebrity flag football game between the LH Legends and DeSoto All-Stars
Cordell Thornton, Lake Highlands Legend, poses with Forest Lane Academy students during the clinic
Clinic students take a break from the action
Local students enjoyed time on the field and personal instruction at the weekend clinic
LH Legends enjoyed a celebrity round of flag football against the DeSoto All-Stars
Good sports all around means money raised for The Wade Smith Foundation and its supported programs
Signing autographs after the clinic was just one highlight of the weekend for the kids
Filled with VIPs, parties, and a celebrity bowling tournament, but the most meaningful events involved Lake Highlands students.
The weekend kicked off on a Friday afternoon as Smith and Lake Highlands Legends participants read to students at Akin, Forest Lane, and Wallace elementary schools.
On Saturday, students were bussed to Desoto’s War Eagle Stadium for a football clinic that was followed by a celebrity flag football game between the Lake Highland Legends and Desoto All-Stars.
Smith graduated from Lake Highlands High School in 1999. He has been in the NFL for 10 years and currently plays for the Houston Texans.
In 2012 he and his wife, Chareta, founded The Wade Smith Foundation in order to provide programs for students in the Lake Highlands and Houston areas such as SAT/ACT prep courses for high school junior and seniors, football clinics, and a summer meal program.
"I had the opportunity to take an SAT/ACT prep class, and I remember how much it helped me with testing skills," explains Smith.
"I want to give back to my community the way people did for my friends and me when I was growing up here."
Smith called on a host of former Wildcats (Legends) such as Davaren Hightower, Marcus Stiggers, Reggie Newhouse, Glen Johnson, and T.J. Jefferson to help him in the endeavors.
T.J. Jefferson explained why he geared up to participate.
"People paved the way for us in high school, and it's good to see Wade carrying the torch."
Marcus Stiggers agreed, adding, "Wade is doing something really great. He's inspiring and influencing others."
During the weekend, you could feel the sense of pride and love in Smith's efforts.
Over 100 Lake Highlands students attended the football clinic. Students, who might not otherwise get the opportunity to attend camp, were excited to receive tips on becoming better athletes, but most importantly, better students.
They were encouraged to always focus and finish strong in all areas of their lives.
Javar Duckett, a 6th grader at Forest Lane Academy and Valedictorian of his class, was so appreciative of the opportunity.
"The coaches taught us how to have fun while working and to listen better. I know I'm going to be a better young man."
You may be wondering why the event was not held at The Boneyard here in Lake Highlands.
Smith says it came down to a miscommunication between the school district and the foundation.
"We definitely hope to hold the clinic in Lake Highlands next year."
To learn more about Smith's efforts and how you can help, visit the Wade Smith Foundation website.