Williams Soars to Greater Heights

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 11, 2006

AHOSKIE – Hertford High School’s Mike Williams, MVP of the Northeastern Conference track and field meet has agreed to accept a scholarship to attend St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh.

Williams, who had received interest from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, East Carolina University, Campbell University and Harvard University among others, chose St. Augustine’s primarily because of the program’s steep tradition of track and field excellence.

Currently the number two-ranked long jumper in North Carolina high schools, Williams’ impressive athletic resume exemplifies the talent that made him an attractive recruit to the esteemed program.

At the conference championship, which Williams and his teammates won, he finished in first place in the 110-meter high hurdles, the high jump, the long jump as well as the triple jump.

An outside linebacker for the Bears’ football team who finished with six sacks this past season, Williams says that his performance at this year’s track and field championships is probably the highlight of his athletic career.

Williams, who has personal bests in his events that will allow him to compete at the National High School Championships in Greensboro June 17 and 18, will try to make his mark in the long jump, which he says is his favorite event.

HCHS head track coach Scott Privott thinks that the sky is the limit for Williams.

&uot;He is an exceptional athlete who could easily compete in both football and track at the collegiate level,&uot; Privott insisted. &uot;For the position he played here his size, or lack thereof, was probably the biggest reason he didn’t garner as much interest on the gridiron. He can be a great situation player somewhere, much like he was for us.&uot;

Still, Williams says his focus is definitely on track and field, where he will have the benefit of training under one of the most successful coaches in U.S. history, George Williams.

Williams, St. Augustine’s head track coach is a member of the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame, and was the head coach of the 2004 U.S. Men’s Olympic Team in Greece, as well the 2006 CIAA coach of the year. St. Augustine has produced several track Olympians and has dozens of national championship trophies on display on their campus.

The humble and personable Williams says that he has not yet decided what will be his major in college, but he is leaning toward working in the field of education possibly as a counselor.

Says Williams, &uot;I’ve had a many people who’ve helped me along the way, I would like to be able to help other kids in the future.&uot;

Among those who Williams wanted to personally thank were, his parents, Privott, Ron and Diane Gatling, Prince Edwards, Mr. and Mrs Cy Grant. &uot;I had a lot of help from the community, I would not be where I am today if not for their support.&uot;

Certainly the greatest reward for anyone who knows Mike Williams is watching him begin his journey as a college athlete and student under such great mentorship.