By NFL Communications
“Together We Make Football” segment on TODAY revealed 9-year-old twin brothers Shariff and Malachi Williams from Martinsburg, W. Va. as the first of five finalists with the chance to win a trip to Super Bowl 50.
Selected from more than 3,500 entries by a joint NFL and NBC panel, the five finalists’ stories are turned into short features by NFL Films. The remaining four finalists will be revealed each Friday over the next four weeks, and the winning story will be announced live on TODAY on Jan. 8, 2016. The winner will travel to Super Bowl 50.
As twins, Shariff and Malachi share a bond extending from the football field to their community, inspiring everyone around them.
The Williams family loves football. In July 2015, registration began for the Eastern Panhandle Youth Football League. Coach Bradley Hager was registering children to play for the league when the Williams family approached the table. Hager noticed Shariff wanted to play football with Malachi. Born premature, Sheriff was the smaller of the twins and suffers from autism and Tourette’s syndrome.
The boys’ parents, Tony and Tonya Williams asked if Shariff could play with his brother. Hager made it happen. When draft day came, the EPYFL Panthers selected Malachi and Shariff to be part of their team.
Despite physical limitations, Sheriff runs through the standard warm up and participates in team huddles. This season, Hager talked to opposing coaches and set up a play for Shariff to run the ball each game. Each play for Shariff, Malachi plays quarterback and ushers his brother to the end zone, as every coach, player and fan goes wild with applause.
To view Malachi and Shariff’s story click here: http://budurl.com/zocTDYTWMF13120415
This is the latest iteration of the “Together We Make Football” campaign that launched in 2013. Over the past two years, thousands of fans shared their stories of what football means to them. A select few had their stories told on TODAY and some even won trips to Super Bowl.
Stories that air on TODAY also will be posted on Togetherwemakefootball.com throughout the season.