Athlete of Week: Williams returns to lead St. James

sjsoc-14St. James soccer standout Luke Williams couldn’t suit up for his high school squad last season. Now the junior striker is making up for lost time.

As a freshman on the Sharks’ surprising state finals run in 2015, Williams got the golden opportunity to join the Charleston Battery’s Academy team last year. While the highly competitive program provided Williams with valuable experience in what it takes to play at the next level, it also kept him from being a part of St. James’ up-and-coming squad.

“Playing for the Battery Academy team was a great experience,” Williams said. “We were playing against MLS Academy teams and traveling a lot, but you can’t play Academy and high school (at the same time). They ended the program down there so at least I was able to get one good season in, but I was excited about coming back to play for my high school team.”

Needless to say, the Sharks are happy to welcome him back to the fold. Williams leads the team with 28 goals in 17 games and has helped St. James claim a No. 2 state ranking with a 15-2 record. His recent play earned him the Mammy’s Kitchen Player of the Week award as the Sharks seek to make a similar run to the state title game like they did two years ago.

Although Williams was only a freshman on that St. James’ state runner-up team, the seed was planted for returning to take the Sharks to the next step of a state championship. The year off allowed Williams to improve his game significantly, especially when it comes to speed. Williams has been taking part in speed and agility training to add a new element to his game.

“I’ve been working on it for a while,” said Williams, who uses his speed to blow past defenders and put added pressure on opposing goalkeepers. “I used to not work on it very much but now it’s a big thing. We do a lot of attacking on offense, and our defense is solid too. As long as we can do those things well we have a chance.”

The next step comes Tuesday night, when the Sharks travel to rival Myrtle Beach for a first-place showdown in the region. Unlike the 2015 squad that had to criss-cross the state to reach the title match on the road, the Sharks hope to secure a top seed and the home games that come with it. But first and foremost, the Sharks have the Seahawks on their minds.

“We’re playing well. We struggled (in Saturday’s loss to Socastee) but we bounced back (in Sunday’s victory over Oceanside Collegiate),” Williams said of St. James’ weekend in the Soccer at the Beach tournament. “We have to play our best against Myrtle Beach on Tuesday because it’s for the region title. It’s time for us to pull together as a team.”

Just one more reason Williams is happy to be back in the high school ranks.

Photo by Terry Massey

Comments

comments

Pelicans rally late to sweep past Dash in doubleheader

Pelicans rally late to sweep past Dash in doubleheaderAndruw Monasterio hit a walk-off to help the Pelicans win [more]

Sun Belt changes tourney format to single elimination

Sun Belt changes tourney format to single eliminationCoastal Carolina's postseason quest to repeat as national champions is [more]

Gamecocks down to final out after loss to Wildcats

Gamecocks down to final out after loss to WildcatsSouth Carolina raced out to a 2-0 lead in the [more]

NBA decides to award 2019 All-Star Game to Charlotte

NBA decides to award 2019 All-Star Game to CharlotteTalk about a long bathroom break ... the NBA announced [more]

Sun Belt's football format, tourney sites announced

Sun Belt's football format, tourney sites announcedThe Coastal Carolina football team will compete in the newly [more]

Tigers' slide continues with loss to Duke in ACC opener

Tigers' slide continues with loss to Duke in ACC openerMichael Smiciklas' check-swing, run-scoring double in the eighth inning broke [more]

Gamecocks keep season alive with first-round win

Gamecocks keep season alive with first-round winNo. 11 seed South Carolina needed a win in the [more]

Pelicans get chance to hold Cubs' World Series Trophy

Pelicans get chance to hold Cubs' World Series TrophyThe Chicago Cubs waited 108 years to hoist the World [more]

Labor Day tradition to roll on at Darlington Raceway

Labor Day tradition to roll on at Darlington RacewayIt appears that Darlington Raceway and Labor Day weekend date [more]

Chants carry momentum, awards into tournament

Chants carry momentum, awards into tournament Coastal Carolina's Billy Cooke, who led the league in three [more]

Pelicans use back-to-back homers to blast past Salem

Pelicans use back-to-back homers to blast past SalemAdbert Alzolay yielded just one hit in six dominant innings [more]

Chants honor seniors, win division title and top seed

Chants honor seniors, win division title and top seedFor the third consecutive weekend, Coastal Carolina swept its league [more]

Jimenez homers again but Pelicans continue to slump

Jimenez homers again but Pelicans continue to slump Eloy Jimenez, the top-rated prospect in the Chicago Cubs' organization, [more]

St. James' Gross leads local list of all-state, all-star picks

St. James' Gross leads local list of all-state, all-star picksSt. James senior softball player Dominique Gross turned a different [more]

Chants leap into first place, can win division title today

Chants leap into first place, can win division title todayAndrew Beckwith improved to 8-1 for the season – 8-0 [more]

Pelicans blow lead in ninth, falter in extras to Red Sox

Pelicans blow lead in ninth, falter in extras to Red SoxThree Salem runs in the ninth and one more in [more]

Bell one of nine Seahawks to sign to play at next level

Bell one of nine Seahawks to sign to play at next levelKira Bell became the third Myrtle Beach High girls basketball [more]

Coastal's Hansen captures Sun Belt golfer of the year

Coastal's Hansen captures Sun Belt golfer of the yearCoastal Carolina junior Malene Krolboll Hansen was named the 2017 [more]

Markleys, Davis earn spots in SCISA girls all-star game

Markleys, Davis earn spots in SCISA girls all-star gameThe Markley family has scored a different kind of soccer [more]

Cunningham's 14-K outing keeps Chants in title chase

Cunningham's 14-K outing keeps Chants in title chaseFor the second time this season, Golden Spikes candidate Alex [more]

Clemson's late grand slam spoils Coastal's comeback

Clemson's late grand slam spoils Coastal's comebackIn a game that featured seven home runs (four by [more]

Golf: Grigg wins state title, leads Seahawks to second

Golf: Grigg wins state title, leads Seahawks to secondMyrtle Beach High sophomore Holden Grigg captured the state boys [more]

CCU signs star point guard Jones out of New Orleans

CCU signs star point guard Jones out of New OrleansCoastal Carolina head men’s basketball coach Cliff Ellis has announced [more]

Five local baseball players, two coaches make all-stars

Five local baseball players, two coaches make all-starsThe sun may have set on the 2017 SCHSL baseball [more]

Local soccer club players claim postseason awards

Local soccer club players claim postseason awardsThree Coast FA soccer players have been chosen to represent [more]

Pelicans rally late to sweep past Dash in doubleheader

Pelicans rally late to sweep past Dash in doubleheaderAndruw Monasterio hit a walk-off to help the Pelicans win [more]

Sun Belt changes tourney format to single elimination

Sun Belt changes tourney format to single eliminationCoastal Carolina's postseason quest to repeat as national champions is [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach