According to ASAP's executive director, Kelly Price, the event was part of a nationwide effort to increase awareness regarding underage drinking. While open to the public, the event was aimed at adolescents. More than 100 people showed up for the speech.
Stacy said he earned the nickname 'jailbird' after being arrested for receiving stolen merchandise from his cousin, who had robbed a jewelry store.
However, before he left juvenile detention, he remembered a recurring dream that began when he was 8 years old. On a tiny black-and-white television set, he was barely able to decipher an imposing figure leaning against the goal post and wearing a fedora with a strange pattern on it. He knew then he wanted to play football for that man.
"Dreams are so powerful," Stacy said. "Dreams kept me alive when I was in that cell."
While Stacy never played for Paul “Bear” Bryant, he saw the goal post Bryant leaned on plenty of times throughout his record-setting Alabama career. “If it could happen for this small country boy, it can happen for you,” Stacy said.
After Stacy's talk, Anniston High School jazz band drummer Travis Burton said Stacy's points about standing up to peer pressure resonated with him.
"You've got to have some leadership inside of you," Burton said. "You've got to be an individual."
Price said one of the key teachings of ASAP is dealing with peer pressure. ASAP uses role-playing exercises as a way to teach students how to effectively say no to drugs and alcohol. The program stresses the importance of setting goals, as well as teaching the difference between being assertive and being aggressive.
ASAP works mostly in the local middle schools, in part due to the main goal of prevention. Price said the agency is able to instill its message before adolescents reach high school. He said prevention is like planting seeds.
"All you can do is hope they take root," Price said.
Stacy echoed that sentiment, using a tree metaphor. With a young tree, it blows in every direction, but once fully grown, its roots are firmly in place.
"You have to line your actions up to where you're going," Stacy said. "I'm looking for someone's actions to change."
According to Price, ASAP helped a 27-year-old years after his first experience with the program.
“I talked to one gentleman who said he remembered back when he was in elementary school and working with one of our specialists," Price said. "He still uses our methods today."
Staff writer Erich Hilkert: 256-235-3585. On Twitter: @EHilkert_Star.