\r\n\r\nBy Bill Sullivan\r\nT.C. Williams High School lost a skilled and admired former student-athlete in January when Julius Campbell, class of 1973, died at age 65 from congestive heart failure.\r\nA local football legend, defensive lineman Campbell helped lead the Titans to the 1971 AAA Virginia State Championship. The final 27-0 victory over the Andrew Lewis High School football team (Salem, VA) mimicked many Friday night and Saturday afternoon results when T.C. shut out opponents nine times. The 1971 Titan defense allowed 45 points total, an average of 3.4 points a game.\r\nJulius Campbell was gentle, vigilant and calm. But in a football uniform, his personality spun a full 180. \u201cJulius played angry but he wasn\u2019t an angry individual,\u201d said his Head Coach at T.C., Herman Boone. \u201cHe was big, agile, mobile and hostile. He\u2019d pursue on the left and also be involved in a play on the right. Runners couldn\u2019t run away from him. Julius would hit a brick building if it was in his way.\u201d\r\nTom Lewis, a center on the Titan team, remembered from practices that \u201cblocking Julius was like hitting a tree trunk,\u201d he said. \u201cGames were a relief after blocking him in practice. He had a determination that wouldn\u2019t stop.\u201d\r\nIntegrating the T.C. Titans\r\nCampbell started high school one year after Martin Luther King was killed and four years after President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in the summer of 1964. Desegregation of the Alexandria schools was not going smoothly in 1970-71. But Julius was a visionary in bringing together black and white teammates who were reluctant to embrace one another. For many students at T.C., it was the first time they had sat in class or the cafeteria with members of the other race.\r\n\u201cThere wasn\u2019t a racist bone in his body,\u201d said his widow Kathleen. \u201cWe felt the same way. To Julius, people were people. He never brought \u2018color\u2019 into it. Julius was a peacemaker.\u201d\r\nAnd he needed to be a peacemaker on the Titans football team.\r\nThe summer before his first year in the job, Coach Boone took the team for a two-week training camp in Gettysburg (PA) College. \u201cWe needed to get the kids out of Alexandria,\u201d said Boone. \u201cAlexandria was raging with hate.\u201d\r\nDuring that camp, players mingled and started to become friends. Julius took the lead. \u201cPlayers listened, since nobody was going to challenge him,\u201d Boone said. \u201cWhen Julius spoke, even the coaches listened. One night, he addressed the team, saying \u2018A team is a group of people with one vision. But before we can be a team, we need to have one heartbeat.\u2019\u201d\r\n\r\nA career calls\r\nAfter graduation, Campbell played one season at historic Ferrum College (Ferrum, VA) and hoped to transfer to Ohio State, but an ankle injury and family illness brought Julius back to Alexandria. \u201cBasically, he left college to take care of his ailing father,\u201d said Boone. \u201cJulius was committed to his family.\u201d\r\nJulius may have heard a career calling long before he tackled running backs for losses across the football fields of Northern Virginia. His deep love of animals was known by all his friends and associates.\r\n\u201cThe only conflict I had with Julius were the reptiles he\u2019d bring into my office,\u201d said Boone. \u201cHe\u2019d hide a snake in there and later I\u2019d be at my desk and the snake would crawl out and look at me.\u201d\r\nCampbell worked for Prince George\u2019s County and the City of Alexandria Animal Control departments, which is where he met Kathleen.\r\n\u201cJulius had an enthusiasm for animals,\u201d she said. \u201cIf there was an alligator on the loose, he\u2019d want to go get it. If there was a bull running wild in the woods, he wanted to be there to catch it.\u201d\r\nAnd although he never played again, Campbell followed the Washington Redskins and he enjoyed Titan football reunions when players addressed high school assemblies, informing students from another generation how their Titan team helped calm the integration waters of the early 1970s.\r\n\r\nHis Winning Legacy\r\nOffensive tackle Fred Alderson, who\u2019d had to face Campbell across the line in practice, said, \u201cHe was a competitor from the word go. Julius\u2019s motor was always running.\u201d\r\nAlderson laughed to recall a drill Boone used in practice. Once it involved a defensive player (Campbell) and an offensive player (Alderson) each holding a padded dummy. Behind Alderson was a running back. \u201cI told coach Boone, \u2018You gotta\u2019 be kidding me. I\u2019m in a three-point stance and Julius is ready to tear me up.\u2019\u201d\r\nSplit end Steve Billingsley remembered going to a junior varsity basketball game once only to see Campbell playing center. \u201cHe was Charles Barkley before Charles Barkley, only not as tall,\u201d Billingsley said. \u201cBig and wide with quickness and strength. He had it all. He\u2019d push the offensive tackle around and take the edge, part of a defense that smothered offenses.\u201d\r\nArnold Oates was principal of T.C. Williams from 1970 to 1973. On a recent message board he wrote, \u201cIn my many years of professional service to public education, I still regard the years at T.C. Williams as the highlight in my career. Julius is one of those students I remember with great fondness.\u201d\r\n\u201cMy mother used to say to me when Julius and I visited, \u2018You are standing in the presence of greatness,\u2019\u201d recalled Kathleen Campbell. \u201cHe\u2019d just beam. I loved him from the first day I saw him.\u201d\r\nEditor\u2019s Note: The writer was a \u201973 classmate of Julius Campbell, who reports that the closest he came to the football field was sitting on the wooden bleacher boards to cheer on his Titans.