By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The West Chester football team returned to its winning ways in 2012. After rare back-to-back losing campaigns, the Golden Rams forged a 7-4 record this past season and they look to be in position to continue that upward trend in 2013.
One of the key members of this squad is sophomore linebacker Ronell Williams. He led the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in tackles this past season with 119 (11th in the country in Division II). He also logged seven tackles for loss, intercepted three passes and finished with 1.5 sacks. For all this, Williams has been named to the AFCA (American Football Coaches’ Association) Division II All-America team.
“It was a Tuesday afternoon,” Williams tells KYW Newsradio. “I got a call down to the coach’s office, my head coach (Bill) Zwaan. He told me, he gave me the news. It was like an awkward pause, ‘I really got it?’ And he was looking at me like, ‘Yeah, you really did it.’ Then we went on, we had a meeting, talked about the season a little bit. But when he gave me the news . . I was stoked.”
The 6’1″, 230-pound Williams is the 11th player in the history of West Chester football to be named an AFCA All-American, but just the third from the defensive side of the ball. The Chester native is also the first Golden Ram sophomore to earn this lofty status, but he is quick to deflect the praise to those around him.
“There’s no way I could’ve gotten this award without the team that I have,” Williams says. “Without the support, and my free safety and my defensive linemen. My free safety, John O’Donnell, is an amazing leader. When times got hard during the season, he kept us all together as a team, made sure everybody knew their assignments. This award for me was more so for the team than it was an individual thing. It was a testament to our team, (more) than it was my individual performance.”
Williams is also excelling in the classroom as he was an academic all-area selection.
In addition to being the first West Chester sophomore to earn this honor, Williams is the only sophomore on the the 2012 All-America squad. Needless to say, his future is bright, and he says next season can’t get here soon enough.
“I’m excited,” Williams tells KYW Newsradio. “I’m excited to see what 2013 is going to bring. I know the sky’s the limit for our team.”
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