One of the reasons for the Colonels’ success this year was the performance of Rashad Williams, who placed fifth at state this season and qualified for state three times over his career.
On Monday, Williams signed to continue his wrestling career and to attend Coker College in Hartsville, S.C.
“He’s probably one of the best all around kids in my five years,” Cass head coach D.L. Koontz said of Williams. “He has a great attitude, leader in the room, great student, and he was constantly, from the day he came in to the day he graduated, was pushing himself in that room and going at a high intensity and a high pace. He’s definitely one of those kids that sets the tone for a practice and will be greatly missed in the room.
“The sky’s the limit for him, just because he always comes with a great attitude.”
Williams wrestled in the 132-pound weight class this season, finished second in the area meet, fifth at state and won four individual tournaments. He also was named to The 2014 Daily Tribune News All-County team.
He placed sixth in state last year and fifth at sectionals.
Williams hopes to continue his success on the wrestling mat, but also pursue his goal of becoming a news anchor.
“Beyond wrestling, I want the education to take me to the next level to where I want to go, which is to be a news anchor. This past year, I actually started the media club here at Cass. I was doing all the videos, promoting all the events we were having and just keeping everyone up on the school news,” Williams said. “I weighed a lot of options and it was beyond wrestling, so I had to look at the school as far as class size. Coker is a small, tight-nit community. Everyone knows everyone, so there’s more one-on-one interaction with the professors.”
Williams also has high aspirations for his college wrestling career at Coker, a Division II program.
“First, I want to start when I get there,” Williams said of his wrestling goals. “I don’t want to sit on the bench or redshirt. I want to go in and make an impact early, and I want that to lead to becoming a national champion.”
Williams will face some stiff competition in college. However, competition is nothing new to Williams, who wrestled against 126-pound state champion Blake Walker every day in practice.
“I think it helped them both tremendously,” Koontz said of Williams and Walker. “They’re just constantly pushing each other. In the four years that [Williams] was with me, I’ve seen him have one bad day and it’s because he was practicing with his partner [Walker], and he just couldn’t get a takedown that day. But that pushed him to work even harder, and the next day, he made his partner mad because his partner couldn’t get a takedown on him.”
“I had one of the best people I’ve ever wrestled in the room with me. That definitely made me a lot better, too. I couldn’t ask for a better drill partner than Rashad,” Walker said. “Rashad is a great wrestler. He’s quick, strong and all-around talented. He’s good in every position, top, bottom, neutral.”
According to Koontz, in addition to competing with Walker in practice, Williams was able to become a strong wrestler due to his relentless work ethic.
“His freshman year, he was behind some really good kids we had. He had two options at that point in time because he came in with all the tools, wrestling knowledge. He just needed to get stronger. When we started lifting, he was in there. He was constantly pushing himself,” Koontz said of Williams. “Being a young kid, he had to follow those kids for another year or two, and for him to say, ‘No, I’m going to do exactly what was told to me,’ that was huge. At that point in time we knew he was on board with what this coaching staff was trying to do and you can expect nothing but great things from him.”
According to his mother, Rasha Williams, Coker can expect that work ethic from Rashad in college.
“Looking at him through high school, I realized he had what it takes to go all the way [to college]. Not so much winning, he is a winner, but his zeal, his discipline, and no one had to tell him to cut weight. No one had to tell him to exercise. He’s always been so focused,” Rasha said. “I’m very proud of him because, working in the schools, you see so many kids that don’t have goals, that don’t care. They don’t focus. They quit school. And, to see him have such a love for school and a love to go to college, and wrestling on top of it, I’m very proud of him and I believe he’ll be very successful in whatever he does.”