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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

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Aggie football stands tall together

Sophomore+running+back+Trayveon+Williamss+family+was+rescued+by+the+coast+guard+from+their+home+in+Houston+following+the+catastrophic+floods+caused+by+Hurricane+Harvey.
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Sophomore running back Trayveon Williams’s family was rescued by the coast guard from their home in Houston following the catastrophic floods caused by Hurricane Harvey.

With game day quickly approaching for Texas A&M football, members of the team are having to deal with more than just being prepared for their Pac-12 opponent UCLA.
Several players on the A&M roster have direct ties to the Gulf Coast and Houston area that have seen catastrophic flooding and rain in the last few days. Sophomore running back Trayveon Williams was one of the players whose family was directly affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“It’s pretty unfortunate with me being from Houston and with my family being there,” Williams said. “I send my thoughts and prayers, and thank everybody that is assisting at this time and pray for everyone that’s going through anything and lost anything.”
Williams, who rushed for over 1,000-yards last season and calls Houston home, said his family was rescued by the Coast Guard after their house began to flood.
“They’re in okay shape,” Williams said. “The house isn’t in the best shape right now, the first floor has water damage, but as long as they’re okay that’s all that matters. They actually had to get rescued by the Coast Guard, they had to have a helicopter come and get them, but they’re alright.”
Williams said he was unsure about which shelter his family was located in, but that he had been in contact with them and they were safe.
Being days away from opening the season on the road Williams said regardless of the disaster, he will be focusing on the job that lies ahead — preparing for UCLA.
“It’s game week,” Williams said. “I have to get ready mentally and physically for [the game] but dealing with this, I’m just praying and hoping for the best.”
According to Williams, despite everything his family has gone through in the last few days, they have told him to worry about the game and not them.
“They’re actually telling me to worry about UCLA saying that they are okay,” Williams said. “It means a lot seeing that they are mentally strong. It helps me out, I’m glad that they are mentally strong and that makes my job easier.”
In last season’s game at Kyle Field, Williams ran 42 yards to set up the Aggies in the redzone in A&M’s 31-24 overtime victory over UCLA. This time around Williams hopes to have the same success, which will have a deeper meaning for him.
“I’m going to go out there and play for those guys, play for Houston and play for the 12th Man,” Williams said.
Offensive lineman Colton Prater said the team has rallied around Williams and praises the young running back on his ability to remain focused on the circumstances.
“He’s been a rock,” Prater said. “I’ve been asking him every day, ‘How’s your family? Where are they at?’ And he’s just been steady and that’s one of the things that I love about Trey is he doesn’t get too down, doesn’t get to high. I know it’s affecting him but he’s a tough guy and he knows that we’re there for him for whatever he needs.”
A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said the raw images that have been on the news and social media help people who aren’t from southeast Texas understand the severity of the damages caused by Harvey.
“It’s really a tough time, now that the pictures have come out and video, I think the world understands what a lot of people in this region have known for the last three days,” Sumlin said.
With more than half of the A&M players affected by the hurricane, Sumlin said the athletic department has been working with the NCAA and the university to help families of the athletes get to safety. In addition to that, Sumlin said the team has had regular meetings with the players to talk about what they are going through.
“It’s something that has hit home with us as a team, with a number of players from the in and around Gulf Coast and Houston,” Sumlin said. “We’ve had some meetings here about family and friends, loved ones, people that are cut off. It’s a tough time for the people of Houston and Gulf Coast. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”
The Aggies will wear a decal on their helmet to bring awareness to the the families affected by Harvey when they take on UCLA at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on FOX.

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