‘You cannot give up’: Former Alabama running back Siran Stacy speaks to Cullman County students

Former All-American Alabama running back Siran Stacy spoke to the students at Holly Pond High School Monday morning. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

HOLLY POND, Ala. – All Cullman County Schools students in grades 8-12 are being treated to a special guest speaker this week as former All-American Crimson Tide running back Siran Stacy makes his way to each school to share his story.

Stacy was born and raised in Southeast Alabama. His accomplishments include being a Hall of Fame running back inductee at Coffeyville Junior College in Coffeyville, KS (1987-1988), a second team All-American tail back at The University of Alabama (1989-1991), and a second-round draft choice by The Philadelphia Eagles in the spring of 1992. In 1995, he was drafted into The World Football League/ NFL Europe with The Scottish Claymores and became league MVP and All-time leading rusher. During this time, he lived in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland and traveled throughout Europe playing football.

Upon leaving the sports world, he started working in the corporate field with mortgage companies such as Home Town Lenders, Countrywide Home Loans, Wells Fargo Home Banking and Coastal Community Bank. Along with working, he had a passion for ministry. Stacy worked 5 years with Bill Glass Prison Ministry which positively impacts the prison system worldwide. He also spoke with multiple FCA groups as well as speaking at small churches and youth rallies. November 19, 2007 brought about tragic, life-changing circumstances for Siran and his family. Their van was struck by a drunk driver one mile from their home. In the van at the time of the crash was Siran, his wife Ellen (36), his children Lequisa (18), Bronson (10), Sydney (9), Shelly (4) and Ellie Ann-Marie (2). Sadly, only Siran and Shelly survived. They will always be missed, and their memory lives on in the legacy that Siran and Shelly carry on.

The event propelled Stacy in June of 2008 into full-time Ministry. In 2009, with the call of God on his life, Siran was ordained into ministry by Sr. Pastor Steve Vaggalis of Destiny Worship Center in Miramar Beach, FL.

Stacy will visit and speak each of Cullman County’s high school’s students and his second stop Monday morning was at Holly Pond. Stacy started by sharing some of his beliefs with the students and talking about how they led him to where he is today.

“I’m going to be transparent with you, I’m not going to waste your time. I’m not going to get up here and try to pretend to be something that I’m not. I can only tell you the truth today. I’m going to give you what I’ve been praying about. I’m a praying individual, I believe in the power of prayer,” Stacy said. “I believe prayer changes things. I know people prayed for me 15 years ago in 2007, people that didn’t even know me. Now I get a chance to meet many of them now and say thank because it’s those prayers that have propelled me into the life that I have now.”

After running into some trouble off the field in Kansas early in his college playing days, Stacy pleaded with his coach for the opportunity to remain on the football team at Coffeyville Junior College and that experience helped shape the message he shares with students now.

“The underlying principle of that story is that I kept knocking on the door. I kept knocking on the door. I kept getting told no, but I kept knocking on the door. There’s somebody in here, some young boy or young girl, you’ve got to keep knocking on the door. You didn’t make the grade you wanted last semester in science or English or math or you didn’t make it on that volleyball team or basketball team, but you have to keep knocking on the door because sooner or later somebody is going to let you in,” Stacy said. “Somebody is going to open that door and you’re going to go right through it, but you have to keep knocking. You cannot give up. You cannot, you cannot, you cannot give up.”

Before the end of his time at Holly Pond, he shared a final message with the students about taking an opportunity to live better lives. Stacy then invited any students who wanted to join him down on the court to come out of the stands and spend a few moments together.

“If you do not change, you will forever regret it. There’s a window that has opened up in this gymnasium, I can sense it. It comes with an opportunity; it comes with the truth, but the third thing is that it comes with is a choice It gives you the choice young women, it gives you the choice young men, it gives you the choice to stop living the way you’re living. Opportunity lies before all of us in this gymnasium. To change and to live a righteous life.”

Stacy’s tour continued with Fairview and Parkside Monday afternoon. It will resume Tuesday with visits to Vinemont and West Point and finish up Wednesday with speeches at Cold Springs and Good Hope.

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