05/21/09 — Goldsboro's Williams wins award

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Goldsboro's Williams wins award

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 21, 2009 1:46 PM

Her application for one of the state's most prestigious athletic awards may have been last minute, but the resume submitted by Goldsboro's Victoria Williams more than spoke for itself.

Williams recently received the Pat Gainey Award from the N.C. High School Athletic Association along with SouthWest Edgecombe women's basketball coach Sandra Langley. The two award winners were honored in a ceremony last week at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Student Scholarship Award is available to NCHSAA member schools in counties which have a poverty rate of 20 percent or more for children 17 and under. Student scholarship recipients alternate annually between a female athlete and a male baseball player meeting the established criteria.

Williams admitted earning of the award just days before the application deadline.

"I didn't even know about the award at first," said Williams. "Our athletic director (Rod Peterson), he's the one who nominated me. I got the application two days before it was supposed to be turned in and we got all the information together, and all the stuff printed out.

"We sent it in and I think I got it in on the date of the deadline. I was ecstatic to win the award because I know there are some great athletes in the state."

A senior, Williams averaged nine points and 2.5 steals per game while serving as captain for the Cougars' basketball team. Goldsboro finished 18-8, won the Eastern Plains 2-A regular-season title outright and advanced to the sectional finals in the NCHSAA playoffs.

Williams also participated in volleyball, softball and track.

But she is also a true student-athlete. Williams has amassed a 4.0 grade-point average while taking honors and AP courses. She has been a member of the school's Alcohol and Drug Buster Club and tutored other students.

Finding time to balance a demanding academic schedule, athletics and community service has helped prepare Williams for the college scene. She has received a full scholarship to Winston-Salem State University.

"Academically I've always loved reading and loved going to school, so eventually it progressed and I got smarter and smarter and my grades got better," said Williams. "It's kind of hard juggling my classes with athletics, but the teachers I have, they don't hesitate to help me with my work. It's kind of hectic at times, but I get through it.

"Just having the chance to take AP and honors courses has prepared me for college where you have to turn things in with a limited amount of time."

Goldsboro's Brandy Smith describes Williams as "a coach's dream."

"Victoria she's won our coaches award the past two years," said the third-year basketball coach. "She's one of those players that's a leader in every aspect athletically, but also in her academics. I'm going to miss her and she'll do what's asked of her.

"You also know that when she gets home she's working on her studies."

While winning remains near the top of Smith's priority list as a coach, helping student-athletes achieve their dream of obtaining a college education has become just as fulfilling as winning a trophy on any level.

"I feel great about just knowing with the kids going off to college that they know it's not all about basketball it goes beyond the court and it's academics, also," said Smith. "To win the state championship but to not have anybody going off to school kind of offsets everything. To know that we had a pretty decent season and that all six of my seniors are going off to school is more fulfilling.

"I'll take that any day."