Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to motivate a player to excel.
Mansfield Lake Ridge linebacker Jayden Williams helped lead his team to a 9-1 record and perfect 7-0 mark in district competition.
Coach Kirk Thor said that Williams is the consummate team player and hard worker, but the Lake Ridge senior said it is something that makes him different that has served as his greatest motivation.
“I am the only left-handed person in my whole family, including my extended family,” Williams said. “It’s helped make me special and made me creative.”
Never miss a local story.
Because most of his teammates and coaches are right-handed, Williams said that he always had to adjust to playing left-handed and that he believes it improved his game.
“It helped me when I was younger,” Williams said. “It helped me play harder, but different, and I guess that style of play carried on to how I play now. It boosted my confidence and made me continue to play that way.”
Thor said that style is a big part of what has helped his team defensively this season and said that he really could not ask for much more from Williams.
“He’s had a very good senior year at inside linebacker,” Thor said. “He is a hard worker and has a great team-first attitude. He is a very aggressive player for us.”
Williams said he has been impressed with what he has seen from his players so far this season and said he believes that they are all approaching the season as they should be.
“This season has been really successful,” Williams said. “We have been getting better as a team and a unit every week. We are going to continue to take it one day at a time and improve from there.”
Williams said he expects his team to continue its winning ways, and as far as what the Eagles are capable of accomplishing, the Lake Ridge senior said there is no telling.
“The sky’s the limit for this team,” Williams said. “As long as we continue to honor our coach’s philosophy and be 1-0 everyday, we can accomplish whatever we put our mind to.”
Favorite Athlete: Sean Lee
Favorite Sports Team: Dallas Cowboys
Favorite Food: Barbecue
Favorite Movie: House Party
Favorite TV Show: Rick and Morty
Book Currently Reading: Frankenstein
Favorite Musical Performer: Kendrick Lamar