Former NFL player teaching more than football

Josh Stewart camp
Josh Stewart teaches kids about hard work, leadership, and dedication
Josh Stewart teaches kids about hard work, leadership, and dedication

PETROLIA, TX (KAUZ) - Kids in Petrolia got to experience football with a former NFL player.

Former Tennessee Titan, Josh Stewart is not only teaching football but is also becoming part of the community.

Josh has always known he wanted to make a career doing what he loved most.

"I was playing in the New Orleans super dome," said Stewart.  "I looked up at the top and was like 5 years old it was my first season. I looked up at the top of the stadium and just realized this is what I want to do. I want to play football for the rest of my life."

Life has not been easy on Stewart.

He lost both of his parents by the time he was six years old and then losing everything he had in Hurricane Katrina when he was 12, forcing him and his family to move to Texas.

One thing however stayed the same.

"When those things happened to me it was like football was my get away," said Stewart.  "Football is how I met friends. Football is how I learned how to be you know a better man in life."

The game took Stewart to college at Oklahoma State University and later to play professionally for the Tennessee Titans.

Something he had always wanted, but a torn Achilles cut his career short after two years.

Now, he is taking the skills he learned and his passion for the game and spreading it at football camps all across north Texas.

Teaching drills, team work, and life lessons.

"It's not about me anymore," said Stewart.  "It's about the people I can impact."

Stewart isn't just coaching for a day.

It's his goal to be apart of the pirate community, spending as much time with the kids as he can.

Which is why he is renting a house to stay in Petrolia when he isn't training.

He even wants to be a substitute teacher for the orange and black.

Jesse House is the new head coach at Petrolia.

"He's done great with our kids here and we love the fact that he's become part of pirate nation," said House.  "He's helping us with our kids and our young ones and this is a great deal with the community and for us."

Stewart says if there can be one life lesson he could teach these kids it's to never give up on a dream.

"What you want to do that's all that matters," said Stewart.  "Don't worry about someone else's input you know what you want to do so go for that.  It's your life. Don't let anyone tell you you can't do it. They can see that in me. They can go to Google and see all the stuff that people say I can and can't do. Guess what am I doing? I'm still here. Instilling stuff in them. Telling them they can and that stuff is not breaking me down. Tell them just go for it all. Why not?"

Stewart wants to eventually get back to playing in the NFL, but is happy where he is right now.

He has plans to host a camp at Vernon and Quanah in the next few weeks.

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