By Charles Prince
The North Jefferson News
Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series of stories on area seniors-to-be who are expected to have big senior seasons.
Your better high school athletes are named to the All-Area or All-Region teams. Just a handful of the best are honored as All-State, but to be named a high school All-American is only for a rare few. Fultondale senior-to-be Alec Williams joined the rare company of high school All-Americans as he finished seventh in the 152-pound weight class at the National High School Coaches Association Open Nationals wrestling championships on June 19.
“It feels really to achieve this goal,” Williams said. “It’s so great to dream of something and then set it as your goal, and then to be able to reach it is just great.”
Williams achieved his dream against some pretty long odds. He normally wrestles at 145 pounds, but he had missed some training time the week prior to the nationals when he attended at seminar at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. The break prevented him from taking off the weight he needed to return to his normal 145 pounds. Despite the setback, Williams finished the tourney with a 6-2 record and finished seventh in the 152-pound class.
“I wrestled very cautiously,” Williams said. “Most of the guys I competed against came down to 152 from 170, so they were all bigger and stronger than me. I was a bit surprised I was able to earn All-American status going against so many bigger guys.”
The top eight finishers in each weight class are named All-American each year.
After his sophomore season, Williams was knocked out in the round of 16 at the sophomore Nationals, missing All-American honors by one match.
“Getting so close then, really made me want this even more,” he said. “Now I want to place higher and then win a national championship in my weight class at one of the national tournaments.”
Williams will have three more chances to improve his finish and earn a national weight class title. In November, he plans to compete in the high school Senior Nationals, then at another national tournament in March of 2008, and finally next June, he plans to compete in the Open Nationals again.
Williams isn’t taking in any time off to celebrate, he’s ready to prepare for his senior season at Fultondale as he attempts to earn a third state weight class title. At the 2006 1A-4A state championship tournament, he won the 140-pound weight class and then this past February, he took the 1A-4A, 145-pound title.
Winning a third state title in the only acceptable goal to William’s way of thinking.
By Charles Prince