COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Spring Valley High School welcomed home two gridiron legends on Friday night.
At halftime of the boys' basketball game, Willie Williams and Andre Roberts were recognized for being inducted into the Spring Valley Athletic Hall of Fame.
"I never thought this would happen," exclaimed Williams. "It feels good to come back and bring my family with me."
Williams, who graduated from Spring Valley in 1989, was part of the 1988 state championship football team. Roberts was a three-sport star at Spring Valley. He was a member of the 2003 track and field state championship team. Roberts graduated from Spring Valley in 2006 and is thankful to be placed in the Spring Valley Athletic Hall of Fame.
"Feels great," said Roberts. "This is a special place. They turn out some good football players."
If Super Bowl appearances are any indication, indeed, the Vikings do. Four former Vikings graced one of the biggest stages in sports, including Williams. The longtime NFL cornerback was part of the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers team that won Super Bowl XL.
"To play in two and win one, it feels great," said Williams. "That is what we all play for. To be able to win a Super Bowl, it's tough getting there. if you talk to Tom Brady, it feels like it comes easy to him."
Williams retired after that Super Bowl season with the Steelers to complete a storybook 13-year NFL career.
"Once you get that ring, it takes a monkey off your shoulders," said Williams.
Roberts remains in the league and he just completed his 10th season. The current Buffalo Bills wideout and return specialist is a two-time Pro Bowl selection (2018, 2019). Roberts earned All-Pro honors in 2018 as a member of the New York Jets. The Vikings legend is grateful for the success and longevity as a pro.
"Every year I get, I take the opportunity to the thank G-D," added Roberts. "I understand what it has done for my family and me."
Friday night's honor means as much to both Roberts and Williams. Spring Valley laid the foundation for success on the field and in life. Furthermore, each hopes to inspire current Vikings with a simple message of what it takes to thrive.
"Be humble and hungry," said Roberts. "I took that when I was here at this school. I still live by that. Just be humble and understand where you came from. Being hungry by going in every year like it's going to be your last."
“I tell kids all the time you got to put the work in,” said Williams. “It is not easy. I think my accomplishment and work ethic got me here. I feel honored to be inducted.”