Thursday, June 22, 2017 This Week's Paper

Walker Williams to showcase talents to national audience

// Tacoma Baptist honors lineman's selection to All-American Bowl in Phoenix

The next football game Walker Williams plays in will offer him a chance to showcase his talents to a national audience, and introduce him to the level of competition he will be facing as a collegian at the University of Wisconsin next fall.

Tacoma Baptist held a ceremony on Dec. 1 to honor Williams’ selection to the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, a high school all-star game that includes 100 of the best players from around the country. The game marks the last high school contest for Williams, the 6-foot-7, 320-pound, three-time all-state and four-time all-league offensive lineman for the Crusaders.

“It’s just a great honor for me and the school,” Williams said after the ceremony. “It was really nice to go up there and, on a more public level, thank the people who helped me get to where I am now and have really pushed me throughout my life.”

After seeing highlights from his Crusaders career and testimonials from teammates and head coach Mark Smith, Williams was presented with his jersey by the Marine Corps and Semper Fi Bowl Representative Mark McMillian, who played in the NFL from 1992-1997.

“He reminds me a lot of Reggie White,” said McMillian, who played with White on the Philadelphia Eagles. “Christian man, walks with his faith…he resembles him a lot. To get a guy like this to participate in our game is obviously a blessing for us, and it’s a blessing for him and his family to showcase his skills on national TV.”

McMillian helped coach Williams earlier this year at a camp held by Junior Rank Sports, which ultimately helped Williams earn a selection in the all-star game.

“He has good feet, we noticed that off the bat,” said McMillian, who has seen thousands of high school athletes through various camps in the last year. “He showed leadership for the young guys that were out there as well, he was very well-respected.”

The occasion was a special moment for Smith as well, who noted that Williams’ character made him stand out just as much as his physical talents.

“He deserves it, he’s earned it,” Smith said. “It’s a nice honor. He certainly is a leader, and he’s a great encourager. He loves to encourage his teammates.”

“It really shows that my hard work over the past year or two has paid off, and what commitment in the gym and the weight room can really do,” Williams added. “I’m really excited to go play against the biggest and best in the United States.”

The Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl takes place on Jan. 3 at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz. at 3 p.m., and will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network.