By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Pettis credits faith and determination


To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video

ATLANTA — The bus pulled into Philips Arena this past Saturday bringing the 7-0 Dallas Desperados into the hostile territory of the home team Georgia Force.
Rooting for any team other than the home team may be considered treason; however, representing the opposing team is a name synonymous with Liberty County and Bradwell football, Will Pettis.
Pettis, a 1996 graduate of Bradwell Institute, is quickly becoming a star in the fast paced world of Arena Football. Pettis has been named to the All-Arena team three times as well as receiving recognition several times as the ironman player of the league. But among all the hype is a man who is generous and humble.
“I don’t really think about all that, I just play for my team and my Lord and hope in the end that it all works out,” he said. “I attribute my success to Christ, Jesus my Savior. For the grace of God he gives us the challenge to do well and I believe he is with me when I’m out on the field. Some of the things he allows me to do are spectacular and I can’t really take all the credit for them, I definitely attribute that first to Christ and secondly to good coaching and my teammates doing their job which allows me to do mine.”
Despite the Desperado’s loss to Georgia that night (78-63), Pettis still put up the numbers.
He made two touchdowns and had an interception. He has the talent and skills that allow him to play as a wide receiver and a defensive back in the league. Pettis reflects on the game and begins the process of planning for the future.
“Right now, I just want to get back home to Dallas safely and get back on the drawing board. We need to correct the mistakes that we made tonight so when we see these guys again in the playoffs, hopefully the outcome will be different,” he said.
 A decision in the beginning of the season to allow unlimited substitutions could have reduced his playing time.
“When the AFL implemented the unlimited substitution rule this season, I was upset because I really liked the AFL for the mere fact that it would allow me to play both offense and defense and showcase my talents, “ he said. “Fortunately the coaches told me they still needed me to play on offense and the rule has not affected me that much.”
He went to NFL training camp for the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons but both teams cut him during the final roster cuts. Never one to stop short of his dream and goals he always keeps the faith that anything is possible.  
“If I get another chance to try out for the NFL, I would definitely seize that opportunity. It would mean conditioning a little different than how I train now for the AFL. The NFL field is twice the size and I would have to work with a coach to help me in the wide receiver position, “ he said.
A devoted family man and community advocate for children, he has not forgotten about growing up in Hinesville and what it means to live your dream.
“I know what it is like to come from a small town and not getting a lot of recognition, there is not a lot to do. I would tell the kids that regardless of their surroundings and what is going on around them, the best thing they can do is believe in their dreams and continue to shoot for the stars,” Pettis said. “If I would have given up after the troubles I went through in my life, I have no idea where I would be, but I never gave up. I went a different route than I wanted to but thus far this route has been pretty good to me. The most important things are your faith in Christ, and working hard and not giving up in what you hope to be in the future.”

Sign up for our e-newsletters