ORRVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - Orrville, Alabama might be a small community, but its pride is great.
One month ago, Keith High School alum LaChavious Simmons’ was drafted to the Chicago Bears in the 7th round of the NFL draft. He is the town’s first ever draft pick.
“I spent almost 20 years with the Dallas County Board of Education not knowing there would one day be a celebrity in the town of Orrville,” Mayor Louvenia Lumpkin said. “I’m so excited because Mr. Simmons is a role model for all the young guys who say maybe one day I can be a professional. He gives them hope, and we’re just so happy for Orrville.”
When Lumpkin called for a parade to celebrate the offensive lineman, the community showed out, and honored him with a party in downtown Orrville.
“He gives this community hope. Back in the day, so many young men felt like they couldn’t make it,” said Lumpkin. “They had the talent but they doubted themselves, but Simmons didn’t doubt. He went all the way, and we are so happy.”
But Simmons said he didn’t even want the attention; instead, he decided to share the spotlight with the Class of 2020.
“I appreciate the support, but I really just wanted to do it for the seniors,” said Simmons. “A lot of them didn’t get to experience their high school graduation, or my sister, who couldn’t experience her college graduation at Wallace, so I just wanted to do something for the kids.”
Simmons says acting as a role model for the younger players has always been his priority, and the parade was just one way he felt he could give back to the community who raised him.
“A couple of kids have come up to take pictures, and I was just giving words of encouragement. Just keep pushing forward and just work your hardest, and you’ll be good,” he said.
“That tells me that he’s a humble person, and being a humble person and having a humble spirit will take you a long, long way,” added Lumpkin. “He’s not selfish. He was willing to share it with the Keith High School Class of 2020, and that goes a long way.”
The Chicago Bears are scheduled to open the preseason on Aug. 15, and Simmons says he’s itching to get back to football.
“I’m just looking to get to work," he said. "I’m just ready to get back on the field, ready for all this corona stuff to get over with. I’m just ready to get back to work and make the team better.”