Four years ago, on the first day of volleyball two-a-days at Mansfield Timberview, Tyah Williams and her family moved to town.
Williams, whose parents retired from the Air Force, was a freshman and felt nervous and scared when she entered the gym.
Tuesday, as Timberview put a wrap on their up-and-down season, Williams left the court as a team captain and three-year varsity player.
She was also an Academic All-District player last year and finished that first year as Freshman MVP.
Williams said the honor in her freshman year afforded her the confidence to continue to improve and play to her fullest abilities.
Like her fellow seniors, Williams won’t be continuing into the postseason, but that shouldn’t diminish the impact they had on their team and the moments created on and off the court.
The Lady Wolves had a strong start to the season with good outings in the first three tournaments. But Timberview could never seem to get fully on track during the brutal district schedule and lost several close matches to teams in the top half of the district standings.
“Looking back over the four years, it’s been tough, but Coach (Beth) Wills has taught me a lot,” Williams said. “I was a part of a family with all the girls and I don’t regret any of it.”
Williams was a player who gave her all, no matter where she was asked to play.
Primarily a defensive specialist, Williams was also a libero and sometimes a setter.
“She has played DS, libero and setter for us this season with all the ups and downs we’ve had,” Wills said of Williams. “She’s a tremendous kid and a good player.”
Regardless of her position, Williams said she’s gained confidence and played more aggressively over the four years.
Coming into the season, Williams said the goals were much as they always have been: make the playoffs.
Personally, she just wanted to wind up her final year on the court going all-out and enjoying the experience.
Looking back, Williams wasn’t sure how the dust will settle, but she knows she put it all out there and will let the details work themselves out.
Her thoughts to those behind her follow the same mindset.
“Enjoy it,” Williams said of her advice to the underclassmen. “It goes by so fast, you need to appreciate it. You think you have more time and your time comes very fast.”
And speaking of time, with the conclusion of the Lady Wolves’ season, Williams isn’t sure what she’ll do with all of hers now.
“It will feel weird,” she said. “One day we didn’t have an afternoon practice, and I didn’t know what to do with the time. It will be an adjustment.”
One aspect which may consume some of the extra time for Williams will be an area of top priority.
Williams will finish in the top 15 percent of her class and has decided to forego playing in college, focusing on her academics.
Williams plans to become a physical therapist and will finish high school with 20 college credit hours already under her belt. She’s eyeing SMU for her undergraduate work.
“I decided I want to buckle down and focus on academics,” she said.
What she’ll remember most of her playing time at Timberview weren’t any accolades or awards.
“I’ll miss the people and the program a lot,” Williams said. “I’ll miss playing, of course, as it pushed me through some rocky times, but there were more good times. It inspired me to do better – that you can do it and push each other. There were some great bonds and memories that I’ll miss the most.”