Thursday, June 30, 2011 | 1:55 a.m.
He’s partially flown under the radar because Chaparral has had one win in the last two years and because the Cowboys had a coaching change late in the spring. If the 6-foot-2, 180-pound rising senior wide receiver played for Southern Nevada powers Bishop Gorman or Palo Verde, he’d likely be one of the area’s top prospects.
“Oh, if that were the case, he’d be getting looks galore,” first-year Chaparral coach Bill Froman said.
During one of Froman’s initial workouts in May after taking over for Donnie Davis, he quickly realized one player stood out above the rest. Williams made dazzling catches seem routine in showing he has all of the tools to excel at the next level.
“He is a faster version of Phillip Payne,” Froman said in comparing Williams to the UNLV receiver. “He is real polished. His hands are crazy soft. He will fight for the ball and catch it at its highest point.”
The roadblocks in Williams’ way at Chaparral could have easily defeated him. Instead of being showcased as one of the area’s top players, Williams’ feats were hardly noticed — his name was even spelled wrong on the roster early in the season.
Despite the Cowboys having injury problems at quarterback last year, Williams finished with 25 receptions for 505 yards and four touchdowns. Considering his team was outscored 388-162, Williams’ most impressive feat might have been his ability to stay positive.
“I’m a Cowboy for life,” he said. “Of course, the losing isn’t a good experience. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to go out and play hard.”
That attitude has carried over to this summer. Froman is installing a run-heavy offense, where Williams’ chances at wide receiver could be significantly less than last year.
Just don’t expect him to complain.
“He’s just a hard-working kid who does everything we ask,” Froman said. “His first statement to me, and it seemed super genuine, is ‘whatever it takes. I want to win football games.’”
Williams has made a small splash this offseason at recruiting events in trying to get recognized. He excelled in the one-on-one drills in May at the Southern Nevada Football Coaches Association combine and ran a 4.6 second 40-yard dash at another event.
He also shined at Boise State’s camp two weeks ago, where he was invited participant and said he was the second-best receiver at the camp.
He currently has no scholarship offers but said he has drawn interest from Boise State, Illinois, Utah, San Diego State and Weber State. He attended UNLV’s camp but said they aren’t recruiting him.
Like the development of his team, Williams doesn’t mind being patient in the recruiting process.
“I like winning games just like everyone else,” he said. “But it’s not always about winning. It can’t be here. We have to go on the field and play our hardest. It’s time for a change here and I'm happy to be part of that.”
Chaparral High School has seen better days.
Once among the top performing schools in the Clark County School District, Chaparral High is undergoing changes to counter dismal test scores and the lowest graduation rate in the district.
The campus located near East Flamingo Road and U.S. 95 is one of five turnaround schools not meeting the expectations outlined in No Child Left Behind.
Chaparral is now looking to clean up its reputation, touching every aspect of the school from restrooms to test scores.
Changes weren’t received well by students who openly protested the cuts to faculty and the new order that banned the use of cell phones and music players during the school day.
Under stricter rules, tardy students are locked out of classrooms, bathroom breaks during class time aren’t allowed and the lunch hour was pushed back to 1:40 p.m.
Superintendent Dwight Jones told students he’s not settling for half successes.
“Right now, 50 percent of the kids in this school don’t graduate high school. Is that acceptable to you? Think about that. Right now, some of the friends that you’re with aren’t going to graduate. Is that OK? That’s unacceptable to me. I think you guys ought to kick all of us out.”
- Year built:
- Principal (Year Hired):
- David Wilson (2011)
- Approximately 2,250
- School Report Card:
Compiled by Gregan Wingert