The Mount de Sales Cavaliers needed a first down late in the game against Greene County. The Cavaliers were looking to move to 4-0 on the season.
It is a moment that head coach Keith Hatcher remembers well. He said this was the moment he realized junior Dexter Williams had matured into a top player at the quarterback position.
“Greene County scored, we got the ball back and needed to answer. They were a really good football team. Ended up the eventual region champions,” he said. “Dexter looked at me and winked on the sideline and said ‘I got it coach.’”
Williams did have it. He would pick up the first down and help the Cavaliers close out the win. By the end of the season, Mount de Sales had 9 wins and a playoff spot secured. Williams was a big part of that success.
Last week, Williams was named The Telegraph Player of the Year, voted on by readers in our poll. He led Mount de Sales to its 10th nine-win season in the schools’ 58-year history of playing football. He finished with over 2,500 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Yet it isn’t just what Williams does on the field that makes him so impressive, Hatcher said.
“Dexter has always been a good athlete. He has made a lot of progress in other areas in the past 12 months,” he said. “He has become a leader on the football team and in our school.”
Williams doesn’t want to only be known as the starting quarterback. His goal is to impact his community and school on a daily basis.
“I am a guy who likes to brighten people’s day more than anything. I like to help in all ways possible,” Williams said. “Whatever my team needs me to do, whatever my school needs me to do… that is probably me more than anything.”
Williams started out playing baseball and basketball. Those two sports came easy for him. Football was more of a humbling experience, he said.
“Football I always had to grind. It never came easy. I have always had to work at it,” he said. “The coaches around here made me realize that football means so much to me.”
Williams’s goal is to use football as a potential avenue to get a college education. He wants to study to become an orthopedic surgeon, though he hasn’t ruled out the NFL in his long term goals, he said.
“If I can get bigger, stronger, faster and have what it takes to make it to the NFL then I will do that,” he said. “If I don’t, then college and my education is my long term goal.”
Aside from sports, Williams enjoys being outside. He loves going outdoors more than just playing video games (but still plays those sometimes, too).
“I like to fish, ride dirt bikes and ride horses,” he said. “I’m from Sparta, Georgia, so country and I like doing those country things. I like going to the drag strip and seeing muscle cars being raced. I am big outdoors guy.”
Sometimes the outdoor lifestyle overlaps with football, especially when it comes to the patience that fishing has taught him. He remembers the biggest fish he ever caught almost never happened because he got tired of waiting.
“I threw my line out there and I got impatient so I went up to eat some food because I couldn’t catch any fish,” Williams said. “I came back and my line was in the water so I reached down in the water to get it and the fish was still on the hook. So as soon as I grabbed it the fish went crazy.”
The lesson of patience wasn’t lost on him. It has made him become a better quarterback and helped secure the Player of the Year award. For him the award was not just about his own personal gain. It meant a lot to see his community and school get behind him.
“The award means more to me to get it for the school more than for myself,” he said. “All the love just came out during crunch time for me to win the award.”
Williams still has another year left at Mount de Sales and is hopeful that he can help engineer another successful season.
Coach Hatcher said that Williams is building a legacy that won’t soon be forgotten at Mount de Sales regardless of next year’s outcome.
“I think when Dexter leaves Mount de Sales, they will remember him as being a leader on a football team that changed the culture of our program,” Hatcher said. “And when he leaves Mount de Sales, Dexter will also be remembered as a positive influence in this school’s community.”