Strong Family Structure Influencing Success of Willis Kids
Having great parents with strong family values has helped mold Darren “DJ” Willis Jr. (12) and Destinee Willis (10) into two of the most dynamic student athletes in the Middle Georgia area. Evident of their parents hardwork, discipline, and continual push, both DJ & Destinee are honor roll students in school as well as standouts in each of their respective sports — baseball & gymnastics.
Destinee is one of the top gymnast in the state of Georgia in the 10u division. In fact, at the 2015 State Competition she placed first in the Vault, Bars, Beam & earned All-Around State Champion honors. Even more impressive, the administrators and teachers at Alexander II Magnet School selected her for the “Future Teachers Award,” awarded to the student that demonstrates academic excellence and great leadership abilities.
“I look up to my mother & father because they are both high school and college graduates. My mom always tells me that education is the key to success”
Comparable to his younger sister’s academic and athletic achievements, DJ is an exceptional student athlete in his own right.
Last school term was his first as a middle schooler and he handled the pressures of being a complete student athlete very well. DJ was selected to lead Miller Middle School’s Literacy program, a member of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Chorus & Baseball team. While carrying the load of participating in each of the aforementioned extracurricular activities along with after school baseball practice, he managed to finish the school year with all A’s allowing him to receive the “Academic Achievement Award,” awarded to students who make all A’s for the entire school year.
In addition to being a member of his middle school baseball team, DJ also plays with the Florida Travel Baseball (FTB) Team. As a result he was given the opportunity to fulfill his dream of playing baseball in Cooperstown, NY. Relishing the moment, he batted 16 for 23 with 13 RBI’s, 10 stolen bases & 2 homeruns (one was a walk-off GRANDSLAM) through eight games.
Following in my dad’s footsteps has always motivated me athletically. My dad was a great student and athlete. He always tells me to give 100 percent & never give up. Most importantly, he tells me that I can be whatever I want to be in life if I work hard.
Sharon P. Willis, Macon resident, is a graduate of Central High school. She is a Family Nurse Practitioner and currently attending Troy University where she was awarded Honors for academics and will graduate in May with her Doctorate of Nursing Practice.
Darren Willis Sr., Macon resident, is a graduate of Southwest High School where he participated on the varsity baseball, basketball, football, and track teams. Attended Ga. Southern University on a football scholarship. Darren was a member of the 1990 National Championship football team, and in 1993 helped lead Georgia Southern to their first ever Conference Title. Darren currently works for the State of Georgia.