Quintez Cephus and O’Showen Williams spoke before Thanksgiving about the excitement of playing against one another in 2014-15 when Cephus’ Stratford Eagles joined the GHSA and would play Williams’ FPD Vikings.
That will no longer happen.
Williams has left FPD and enrolled at Stratford, turning close friends into high school teammates.
The two already played together on the Georgia Stars’ AAU team. Another player, freshman guard D.J. Boyd, left Veterans to enroll at Stratford and has played two games for the Eagles.
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Cephus and Williams bonded as rival middle school players when both played at public schools in Bibb County.
Williams started practicing with the Eagles on Wednesday, and he might play Friday night when the Eagles host John Milledge, Stratford head coach Jamie Dickey said. Dickey said Williams won’t start immediately, and that he needed to figure out how to integrate the sophomore guard into the rotation.
The Eagles were already considered a strong contender for the GISA championship before the additions -- although Stratford lost by 19 on the road to Deerfield-Windsor on Tuesday. The Eagles (8-2) beat Deerfield earlier in the season.
“We know what type of team we have,” Dickey said. “We have to play hard every night, give great effort defensively. ... (Deerfield) was a tough road game against a good opponent.”
Williams averaged 17.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 10 games for FPD this season. Cephus averages more than 20 points per game, and Jonathan Hefner provides another legitimate scoring threat.
Both Cephus, who has a scholarship offer from Clemson, and Williams are receiving interest from Division I programs.
Williams also had a standout football season for the Vikings. He caught 28 passes for 681 yards and five touchdowns and had three interceptions as a defensive back as the Vikings made it to the second round of the state playoffs.
He earned second-team all-state honors from the Georgia Sports Writers Association and second-team All-Middle Georgia honors to go with all-region and All-Bibb County honors.
Dickey said he wasn’t sure if Williams planned to play football at Stratford.