The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

October 12, 2012

Williams goes from ballboy to starter

DANVILLE —  Curiosity got the best of Steven Williams eight years ago.

In B.J. Luke’s first season at Danville High, Williams decided to watch the Vikings practice.

“One day, I was interested in their practice and I went over there to watch,’’ Williams said. “He asked me to be the ball boys and I did it.

“I’ve been here since he’s been here, really.’’

But, up until this year, the only real action that Williams saw on the Ned Whitesell Field was from the sidelines.

That’s because Williams missed significant time in both his sophomore and junior season with injuries.

“He’s had some unfortunate injuries that put him behind the 8-ball when it came to playing time,’’ Luke said.

Ironically, it was the same injury each year and they both happened at the same time of the Danville season.

“Both of them happened on the last day of two-a-days,’’ Williams said. “In my sophomore season, I broke my right collarbone and my junior year, I broke my left collarbone.’’

Williams was able to recover and get back on the practice field in each season, but his playing time was severely limited.

“Each time, we already had our playing rotations set,’’ Luke said. “I think that’s a testament to him, that he stuck it out.’’

And the payoff has been delivered this season.

Williams is Danville’s leading receiver with 28 receptions for 269 yards and four touchdowns.

“I wasn’t sure that it was going to turn out like this after the last two years,’’ he said. “This year, I’ve become one of the main targets in our passing game.’’

According to junior receiver Chris Collier, who leads the Vikings in receiving yards (459), Williams has come a long way for the team.

“Steven has proven this year that he could have been on the football field the past two years if not for his injuries,’’ Collier said. “He has really stepped up in a lot of big games for us.’’

While Collier and Martez Davis (377) have the majority the receiving yards, Williams has developed into his role of being Danville’s possession receiver.

“I feel like I’m the go-to guy when we need a big first down,’’ Williams said.

And that’s exactly what the Vikings need according to Collier.

“Steven’s biggest strength is his ability to catch the ball in a clutch situation,’’ Collier said. “When it’s a close game and we need a first down, coach and Trent (Sherfield) know they can go to Steven to make the play.’’

And that trust between quarterback and receiver was developed over the summer.

“He was one of my main targets in 7-on-7 competitions and it’s carried over into the season,’’ Sherfield said. “Steven has a lot of moves. He can break a corner down easily.

“I know that he will get open and I get him the ball.’’

But, Luke is quick to point out that Williams isn’t just a possession receiver.

“He’s kind of like Steve Largent (NFL Hall of Fame receiver),’’ Luke said. “They get you with a possession catch, another possession catch and then all of the sudden, they slip past you for a big play.

“Steven has done a really nice job of making plays for us this year.’’

But, it almost didn’t happen.

“After getting injured last year, I thought about quitting football,’’ said Williams, who also plays basketball at Danville. “I wasn’t mad that I got hurt, I just felt like I needed to be out there playing for my team.

“And considering both injuries happened just before the start of the season, I wondered why did I put in all of this work.’’

Thankfully, for himself and the Vikings, he decided to get it another go this season.

“I feel like I accomplished something just starting the season,’’ he said. “And, everything else that has happened is just an added bonus.’’

Not only has Williams made big contributions on the Danville offense, but a few weeks ago, he was also named a starter at defensive back for the Vikings.

“Actually, I thought that I would have been playing defense all year,’’ Williams said. “When I started the year on offense that kind of surprised me, and now, I’m going both ways.’’

And how is that?

“I love it,’’ he said. “I want to be out there on the field as much as I can.’’

Williams will get his final opportunity to play on the Ned Whitesell Field tonight as Danville hosts Normal Community in the final regular-season home game.

“Things haven’t gone as well as I would have liked this year, but we’ve put ourselves in a position to make the playoffs,’’ Williams said.

The Vikings need to win their final two games to secure their seventh straight playoff berth.

Kickoff tonight is set for 7 p.m. and the game can be heard locally on WDAN-AM 1490.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - CN0823 - Danville scrimmage photo 2 Dress rehearsal goes well DANVILLE — The beads of sweat were rolling down the foreheads of the 2014 Danville Vikings as they listened to their coach B.J. Luke.The veteran coach asked his team what they thought about the team’s Friday night scrimmage at the Wayland-Young Athle

    August 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bearcats hope to improve MILFORD — Experience will be the name of the game when the Milford/Cissna Park football team takes the field this season. The Bearcats return 17 starters from a year ago, and according to head coach Clint Schwartz, that experience will be a great ass

    August 23, 2014

  • SPT- CN0823- Fountain Central photo 1 Mustangs have no worries in opener VEEDERSBURG, Ind. — Fountain Central head football coach Brian Moore looked at the season opener with Southmont the same way his players look at final exams.“I worried about this game all summer and the last three weeks,” said Moore. “Southmont is on

    August 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Falcons easily wins opener CAYUGA, Ind. — The North Vermillion football team made quick work of Turkey Run in the season opener for both teams with the Falcons winning 69-6.The Falcons scored 55 of those points in the first quarter with Jacob Earl scoring on a 8 and a 4-yard t

    August 23, 2014

  • Friday's Local Agate PREP FOOTBALLAt Cayuga, Ind.North Vermillion 69, Turkey Run 6Turkey Run 0 0 6 0 — 6N. Vermillion 55 7 0 7 — 69First quarterNV — Jacob Earl 8-yard run (run failed)NV — Earl 4-yard run (Adam Scott kick)NV — Ethan Lee 4-yard run (A

    August 23, 2014

  • SPT- CN0822 - HA photo 2 New era for HA, Schlarman HOOPESTON — A new era for Hoopeston Area and Schlarman Academy begins this year as they have combined forces for the upcoming Vermilion Valley Conference football season. The nine-game schedule has five home games this year and both schools will host

    August 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Devils find their first opponent BISMARCK — After Chicago Hawkins dropped football, the Bismarck-Henning football team was hoping to fill a slot for Aug. 30 and it is now filled.The Blue Devils will start the season on the road with a trip to Carmi-White County High School at 2 p.m.

    August 22, 2014

  • Thursday's Local Sports Scores PREP BOYS GOLF At Gibson City At Railside G.C. (Par 36) Team results — 1. Bismarck-Henning 166, 2. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 172 Medalist — David Warren (BH) 35. Bismarck-Henning (166) — Warren 35, Hunter Keigh 40, Josh Heidrick 44, Noah Campbell 47

    August 22, 2014

  • SPT - CN0821 - GeoRF photo 1 Realizing potential GEORGETOWN — Ask almost anyone in Vermilion County about the Georgetown-Ridge Farm football team and the typical response you will get will talk about their talent.And this season is no different.The Buffaloes return 10 starters from last year’s play

    August 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vikings compete in Classic BLOOMINGTON — The Danville boys golf team ended up 22nd as a team at the Raider Classic at the Den Golf Course on WednesdayReed Krynski led the Vikings with a score of 91 on the par 72 course, with Christian Montgomery scoring a 97, Tristan Wolfe an

    August 21, 2014

E-edition
NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014


Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here: http://smu.gs/1iCWKnP

Must Read
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
NDN Video
School serves diabetic girl trashcan pizza Battle of the Butts at the 2014 MTV VMAs! Four-Year-Old Reviews Exclusive Restaurant's $295 Fixed Price Menu Mariah Orders Nick Cannon to Stay Quiet About Divorce Details U.S. Military Strategy Against ISIS The London Zoo holds its annual animal weigh-in VIDEO: Goliath Grouper eats shark in one bite Rapper Almost Walks Off CNN Over Ferguson Coverage 2 American Ebola Patients Released From Hospital Whoa! Jimmy Fallon Shaves Jared Leto's Beard US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Reggie Jackson's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Amazing Encounter With Sea Otter Caught on Video Motorcyclist Sticks Landing Sicilian hilltop homes on sale for one euro Are Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Breaking Up? Joel McHale Interviews Chelsea This 'Breaking Bad' Reunion is the Most Hilarious Thing You'll See All Day! President Obama talks about who James Foley was Nicki Minaj Unleashes Her 'Anaconda' On the World