Spotlight on Billy ('10) and Andy ('13) Embody
Most successful teams have one thing in common, they have captains that refused to give anything less than their all. Some of these captains called up their teammates to match their own effort while some took a non-verbal approach. No matter what their style was though the teams saw their culture flourish.
Andy Embody had one of those captains to learn from. He didn’t just get to learn under him on the football field, he had the opportunity to learn from him his whole life. Andy’s older brother, Billy was the kind of captain that you hoped for as a coach, teammate, brother, and son. He took great pride in not only leading on the field but also in the classroom and the school community. To Billy, the title “Captain” meant excelling across the board. This was never lost on Andy as he saw his brother lead as the President of the Student Council and President of CDS National Honor Society, “Having Billy go through high school before me was great, especially getting the one year to be there with him. However, I always felt that the CDS he went to and the CDS I went to were two completely different schools, so each of us could blaze our own trails and leave our mark on the school in our own unique ways. He did a great job of leaving his mark as an ambassador for the school with all of the different activities and groups he led, which was a great precedent for me to find ways to make an impact on the CDS community.”
Andy would lead as well and became as involved as he could at CDS. During his high school years he was involved in Tutoring, Key Club, Ping Pong Club, Skeet Shooting Club, Spanish Honor Society, National Honor Society, Student Athletic Board, and played Football.
We recently caught up with Billy and Andy to find out what it meant to be lifers at CDS as well as find out what they are doing post college.
Tell us about your time at CDS. What helped you in the classroom and in athletics that prepared you for life in college and after college?
Billy: CDS was an incredible experience for me from the time I started as a toddler to graduating from high school. There were changes throughout my time at CDS from adding the IB program, moving campuses, expanding the school to have a high school, adding new programs, etc. Learning the right kind of attitude to have is the most important thing I took away from CDS. Developing kids into young men and women as people by the time they leave CDS to ensure they can contribute to society in a positive manner is something I feel CDS does a great job of for the most part. From my teachers, I was encouraged to be positive and my enthusiasm and energy (that got me into trouble at times) wasn't stifled either. From my coaches, I learned to have a thick skin, which is lost a lot on today's youth.
Andy: Whether it was in an academic or athletic setting, CDS was always a tight-knit community for its students. The small class sizes allowed me to create close friendships with my classmates that I still maintain to this day. Additionally, I was able to get to know my teachers and administrators on a more personal level to create a lasting bond. In athletics, the same thing applied, especially in football. Being that our team had no more than 35 players during my time as a Patriot, there was very close interaction between the upperclassmen and underclassmen that provided me with lifelong memories with some of my best friends. It was the sense of community with CDS that helped carry me through my time there, and I can still feel that same sense when I reunite with my friends from my CDS days.
Do you have any good stories, funny or inspiring, that have stuck with you from your time at CDS?
Billy: I do remember when our high school was small enough to "ditch school" as an entire school as an April Fool's prank. Our first couple years of high school, we were able to do some pretty unique things. As far as inspiring, one of the things I'll never forget is when Mrs. Dosher handed me the Jim Valvano ESPY speech to read in forensics competition. The speech changed my life as far as my values and how I live. I highly encourage you to check out the speech.
Andy: At the end of my senior football season, we were in a position to clinch the first playoff spot in CDS history with a win over Calvary Christian in our final game of the season. We won 54-35 and it was a game to remember, with all the players smiling from ear to ear as the game got close to the end. What we didn't realize, was that Cambridge Christian was (shockingly) beating Admiral Farragut by a large margin and, if the score held, we would be district champions in just our second season in the district. After our game, we waited outside the bus for the final score to come in. Cambridge closed out the victory and we all celebrated in the Calvary Christian parking lot. Two weeks later, we hosted our first ever playoff game at Alonso High School and it was an amazing sight to see and play in front of a thousand people cheering us on while we made history by beating Moore Haven in our first playoff game in program history. The best thing about playing at CDS when I did was that everything we did was done for the first time, and I got to share it with my best friends.
How did you decide where you wanted to go to college and what to major in?
Billy: I never really looked for that feeling of "home" in the college process, prioritizing academics, the potential to play football, the campus, my major, etc., but when I visited SMU in the spring of my senior year, I fell in love and knew I was done. I was lucky enough to receive a great scholarship, the Hunt Leadership Scholarship, and then the chance to walk-on the football team. SMU has a great journalism program and added sports management as a major before I arrived. I double majored from the start, wanting to add another degree rather than taking additional classes I might not have been as interested in for credit. I always loved sports and felt those two degrees were the best ways for me to work in the industry
Andy: My decision was made on the basis of comfort level and what I wanted to major in, at the time. I had been visiting SMU for a number of years to see my brother, so there was no question it was, and still is, a second home for me. My decision to major in Public Relations and Strategic Communication with a minor in Sport Management came after a very brief desire to major in Business with a focus in Marketing and Finance. I knew the business school at SMU was very well regarded, and wanted to be a part of that, but I didn't enjoy the classes I was taking. Knowing that this was the first time in my life where I could have complete control over what I wanted to study, I decided to switch to Public Relations and Strategic Communications to improve my skills as a communicator and added the minor in Sport Management to continue to learn about the business of sport.
What have you done as a profession and what are you currently doing? What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
Billy: I started working for The Daily Campus (student paper) and Scout.com in college, covering SMU sports and recruiting before I ended up having internships with the Washington Redskins in community relations and The Marketing Arm, a sports marketing agency. I stayed in Dallas for two years after graduating after earning a full-time opportunity with The Marketing Arm, where I worked in the communications department. After my first year out of college, I started working with the Redskins as a their advance team operations assistant, where I'll enter my fourth season this year. To keep it simple, it's a part-time job where I fly to the road games for the Redskins and assist the director of football operations with setting up all of the things that the Redskins need to go on the road in the NFL — hotel, travel, meeting space, away stadium, security, etc. It's an awesome job that I'm lucky enough to do and I have it because of CDS connections.
As for my full-time job, I live in Baton Rouge covering LSU baseball, basketball and football for 247Sports.com (Geaux247.com). I also manage a staff of four writers that cover my alma mater back in Dallas at SMU for 247Sports (PonyStampede.com). I truly haven't "worked" a day since I moved from Texas to Louisiana to be a full-time beat writer and the biggest thing I learned when I did that was to go 100 percent for something you love to do. You'll be much happier.
The best part of my gigs is when the Redskins go on the road and win. While pretty much everything I do is off the field, if we win, that's the best. As far as my job with 247Sports, the best part is when I break news. It's a thrill that's tough to explain, but being the competitive person I am, it's tough to beat that feeling when you get really good scoop via reporting. It also isn't bad being in Tiger Stadium in a huge game with 100,000+ people watching a football game.
Andy: After a six-month postgraduate internship in Dallas with Edelman, a global communications marketing firm, I was offered a job from one of my mentors with a sport marketing firm focusing on partnership event marketing, which was what I had set out to do before I began college. In my role with Genesco Sports Enterprises, I help manage our client's partnerships with various sports teams and leagues, such as NASCAR, NHRA, Dallas Cowboys, and more. The most enjoyable part of my job is seeing our events come together after weeks and months of extensive planning. Additionally, working in the sports industry, I get to involve myself with notable brand names such as PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, Under Armour, and more, and see the inner workings of marketing campaigns that become memorable to consumers.