04/15/09 — Former Trojan enjoying first season on Saints' coaching staff

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Former Trojan enjoying first season on Saints' coaching staff

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on April 15, 2009 1:46 PM

DUDLEY -- Coaching takes a special mentality that mixes competitiveness with enthusiasm and resolve with ambition.

For first-year assistant coach Anthony Williams at Southern Wayne all of those traits come naturally.

A former Mount Olive Trojan baseball standout, Williams is helping Saints front man Trey McKee lead Southern Wayne into the heat of the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference race.

"We have all the talent to be able to make a run," Williams said. "We just have to figure out how to put it all together. It's like tuning up a car, it takes some work in order to run at full power."

Southern Wayne currently sits in a tie for third place in the conference standings with a 8-8 overall (3-3 ECC) record. The Saints have enjoyed Spring break by taking part in the annual Dimaond Classic in Shallotte this week.

Williams, who was known for his fluid motion as the pivot man in the Trojan's double-play tandem least season, is helping Southern Wayne's infielders sharpen their skills.

"Coach Rob Watt at Mount Olive made us work on double plays every day, and that really became a part of practice that I looked forward to as a player," Williams said. "Now I have our guys at Southern Wayne do the same things and it's still one of my favorite parts of practice."

Williams' hard work is already paying dividends according to McKee.

"Anthony has really done a good job in his first season with us," McKee said. "He brings a level of enthusiasm that is hard for most coaches to match. Sometimes I have to remind him that he is a coach now and not a player."

In every campaign there are times when a coach can use a situation to motivate and inspire his club. Williams admits that he regularly draws on his experience winning a Division-II National Championship to prove a point.

"One thing that I bring to the table is my experience at the next level," said Williams. "I had some great coaches when I was a high school player, but there wasn't really a guy that knew what it was like at the college level."

Williams is quick to point out that his ascension in game of baseball from high school standout, to college star, to high school coach is owed to the men who molded him on and off the field.

"I have to thank all of my coaches through the years who helped me get to this point," said Williams. "Guys like coach Watt, Aaron Akin and Carl Lancaster have done a lot for me as a player and as a person."

His latest mentor has taught Williams how to deal with 15 unique personalities and manage a team in the most productive way possible.

"Coach McKee is a great guy to learn from," Williams said. "He has incredible patience, he is intense and he loves to win."

Still early in his coaching career, Williams hopes that some day all of his experience eventually turns into an opportunity to lead a team onto the diamond as a head coach.

"I definitely could see myself becoming a head coach," Williams said. "I don't see playing as a part of my future, but I do see coaching and eventually taking a head coaching position as part of the plan."