A Growing Leader

Sophomore quarterback Derek Williams leads the Owls with 9 rushing touchdowns.

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A Growing Leader

Derek Williams is the starting quarterback this season.

Derek Williams is the starting quarterback this season.

Abby Young

Derek Williams is the starting quarterback this season.

Abby Young

Abby Young

Derek Williams is the starting quarterback this season.

Connor Hartmann, Staff Editor

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It’s a pretty special thing–in any sport–for an underclassman to be awarded a spot on a varsity sports team. Even more so when they are awarded the highly sought after position of starting quarterback for the football team. This year, sophomore Derek Williams has done exactly that.

While the team has had its share of struggles this year, Williams remains a bright spot for the team and provides a reason to be optimistic about the future.

“I don’t want to put too much of a ceiling on him, but I feel like if he keeps working and getting better at the rate he is, he will be one of the best quarterbacks in our conference,” head coach Alex DeMatteis said.

The sophomore is not only trusted by the coaches at the position because of his arm, but also with his legs. Williams leads the team with 435 yards rushing and nine touchdowns.

“I think the biggest for me is just always getting stronger and being in the gym,” Williams said.

Against Hillsboro, Williams threw for over 200 yards while still getting an additional touchdown on the ground. For the season, Williams has over 400 yards passing.The team threw for a total of only 282 yards on the season in the 2017-2018 football season just last fall.

Last year’s starting quarterback, Nate Browning, has helped push Williams to get even better.

Browning said, “I just want the team to have the best chance to win…Whoever it is that gives us the best chance is the guy that should be on the field ”

Williams said, “I love the competition, and I think it makes both of us better,” Williams said.

And while Browning may not be throwing the football, he’s been on the receiving end of the majority of Williams’ passes this year. Browning, who starts at cornerback and wide receiver, leads the team with 12 receptions.

“The competition was good all throughout the summer,” DeMatteis said, “And in fact we actually had not come to a decision as to who our starting quarterback would be until after our jamboree, which was just a week before our first game.”

While the team has struggled this season, Williams is growing as a sophomore team leader. That should bode well for the future.

Williams said, “I’m excited to be in that position, and to be someone that people can count on.”

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