Titletown TX

For Aledo football star, heart matters more than height

Titletown, TX., episode 14: They Call Him Big Game James

The heart and soul of the Bearcats' defense, James Williams won't let any player or challenge get in the way of his football dreams.
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The heart and soul of the Bearcats' defense, James Williams won't let any player or challenge get in the way of his football dreams.

James Williams has always been big.

In peewee football, opposing coaches and parents openly questioned his age. When he arrived at Aledo High School his freshman year, his teammates were struck by his size-- and his goatee.

So, naturally, everyone just started calling him Big James. And it stuck.

But “big” doesn’t just describe Williams’ stature; it’s a measure of his heart and desire to always take on the biggest guy on the other team, and to lead the undefeated Aledo Bearcats to another state title.

Ironically, though, size may be the only thing holding Williams back from realizing his football dreams.

At 5 foot 9 and 290 pounds, he doesn’t fit the mold of most SEC or Big 12 coaches or defensive coordinators. A couple inches taller, and Williams would likely have several major college offers by now.

But Big James, who moved from Everman to Aledo his freshman year because he was “running with the wrong crowd,” says he won’t let his height, or anything else, stop him.

These days, his nickname is Big Game James, because how hard you play matters much more than how tall you are.

See Williams’ story in episode 14 of Titletown, TX., the Star-Telegram’s original web series. And catch all of the episodes at titletowntx.com.

For Aledo's seniors, their final game at Bearcat Stadium is a bittersweet reminder that high school and football go by in a flash.

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