LUBBOCK, Texas — A power couple on the Estacado High School staff is making a huge impact on the lives of students on campus every day. Khalilah and William Blaylock aren’t strangers to serving others, but their latest mission has them working overtime to level the playing field for their student-athletes.
Back in April, Texas Tech University’s chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame put on its annual scholar-athlete awards banquet.
“You had kids from all over the Panhandle who were receiving scholarships, and they had blazers and button up shirts and ties,” said Estacado Football head coach William Blaylock. “The two kids from Estacado didn’t.”
William Blaylock said he can’t control everything, but this was one thing he felt he could fix.
“I want to make sure when we go back this year, because we have a lot of kids with great academics, they’re all going to look professional, and they’re all going to fit the part,” William Blaylock said. “That way, they’re not uncomfortable in their surroundings because they’re dressed differently.”
Khalilah and William decided to start a men’s dress wear drive where community members can drop off nice clothing for these players to have for fancy occasions.
A lot of times the underprivileged kids, meaning like parents are at work or their single parent households, they don’t have the money for the little extra stuff,” said Estacado success coach Khalilah Blaylock. “We never want them to go in and look different, meaning everyone else is dressed up, and they have on jeans and t-shirt just because they can’t afford it.”
Khalilah said many students on the east side haven’t been exposed to environments outside of where they live.
“They aspire to do things like the NFL or go to college and have careers, but they don’t know how to function in those realms,” Khalilah Blaylock said. “They don’t know how to dress, how to interview, how to have those conversations, how to shake hands. Well, when we’re taking them to these banquets, they’re now dressed appropriately, they’re being taught how to function in those realms.”
William played college football at Tulane University and Baylor University. He said he didn’t know how to dress up until college, where his coaches were like fathers to him. Now, he’s paying it forward to his players at Estacado.
“It’s kind of my duty to stand on the shoulders of coaches that came before me and now help the next generation the same way I was helped,” William Blaylock said. “I’d be doing them a disservice if I didn’t try to do any and everything I can for them.”
The team is accepting donations of the following items:
- Dress shirts
- Dress shoes
If you would like to contribute, you can deliver your items to the field house on Estacado’s campus (1504 East Itasca Avenue). The Blaylock’s can also pick up items from you, and you can schedule that by emailing Khalilah or William.