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Emmitt Smith inspires area youths in Victoria speech

By Taylor Mitchell
May 7, 2013 at 12:07 a.m.
Updated May 8, 2013 at 12:08 a.m.

Emmitt Smith delivers a speech during "An Evening with Emmitt Smith" at Faith Family Church in Victoria.

Brady Hill, 19, grew up a true Dallas Cowboys fan.

His room was filled with Cowboys gear. His bed sheets brandished the silver and blue team colors, and he saw as many games as possible. There was no question who his favorite NFL team was.

His favorite player, though, was Emmitt Smith. Tuesday night, inside the Faith Family Church Auditorium, 2002 E. Mockingbird Lane, Hill got to show a group of boys why the Hall of Fame running back was so special.

"Everybody knows he's a great football player, but he's also a great person," Hill, who coaches the Boys and Girls youth baseball team, said. "He has a lot to say about motivation. For these kids, there may not be much at home, but just knowing they can do it on their own is motivation."

Hill and his 11 players learned about what it takes to become one of the greatest players of all time and the self-motivation and self-preparedness required to achieve your goals at An Evening with Emmitt Smith.

Zane Yates, 12, doesn't play much football, but what he learned Tuesday night can be used to accomplish his goal.

"I play baseball, but my favorite sport is basketball and my goal is to one day become one of the greatest players of all time," Yates said. "He said to choose right and God would set us to go down the right path."

Elijah Ray Gonzales, 12, does play football and said afterward that Smith has inspired him to keep playing the sport.

"I played football before and just hearing him makes me want to go out and play some more," said Gonzales, whose favorite team is the Cowboys. "When he said that he was sitting there watching the Cowboys as a 7-year-old, that is what inspired me to go back to playing."

While most of his message focused about football and sports, Smith also talked about how his faith made him a better person and player.

"One of my goals is to become pro baseball," said Andre Thomas, 12. "Another is to be a Christian. Instead of just believing in God, I want to worship him."

Smith delivered an inspiring speech to an energized audience of mostly Dallas Cowboy fans that included stories about Smith meeting Jim Kelly as a 17-year-old high school student and then beating Kelly in back-to-back Super Bowls to how he prepared for Dancing with the Stars.

"Nothing in life is easy," Smith said at the end of his speech. "If it was, there would be a lot of Emmitt Smith's walking around.

"Your attitude is important in whatever you do. If you're passionate and love what you do, then you're not working. You are having fun."

For the many fans of Smith, and the Dallas Cowboys, Tuesday night was a dream come true. For many though, it was an experience that could send them on the path to giving their own motivational and inspirational speech later in life.

"Emmitt said when he was a kid, he wanted to be a Cowboy and I want all of these kids to have a goal like that to strive for one day," Hill said.

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