Parting memories, Deonco Williams final track season

During elementary school, most students likely dabbled in hobbies such as music, art or sports.  For most, these activities were more like games than actual livelihoods. For triple-jumper Deonco Williams (12), however, his involvement in track has been anything but a game. 

Many students hear the phrase ‘track meet’ and don’t realize what it entails. Practice sometimes lasts late into the night with the runners doing a variety of complicated stretches and drills, and try-outs can go for weeks.  With an endless commitment to track, Williams has excelled above most others. 

Deonco Williams’ triple jumping abilities have earned him spots in various championships and competitions, and he graduates in 2011 with years of memories behind him. 

Deonco has been participating in track events since he first came to Eureka as a freshman in 2007.

“I started when I was in fourth grade at Pond Elementary just to be active, and then I started really getting into it as I got into high school,” Deonco Williams said.  “I just stuck with it.”

As Williams worked hard in practice through his first two years at Eureka, track coaches realized his special ability in jumping. 

“He’s third on the top five record for the triple jump in Eureka history, meaning there’s only two other guys that [have] jumped further than he has,” Mr. Chadd Lamason, track coach, said.  “He has the potential to break that record this year, and he went 45 feet as a junior when first place was 47 feet.”

Williams, while in the process of establishing his role in the team, broke his kneecap in a hurdling accident sophomore year. 

“He was going up over a hurdle at University City, but when he did, he tripped and completely shattered his kneecap,” Jeremy Broadbooks (12) said.  “Being right there, it wasn’t just intense, but I remember thinking ‘oh wow’, because it looked like it really hurt.  I remember him lying there in the gutter for a while.”   

Deonco’s teammates supported his recovery afterwards.

“Deonco’s injury made me, personally, just want to run harder,” Michael Canamore (12) said.  “I know he’d want to run harder for the team if I got hurt and something like that happened to me.”

Rather than bringing him down, the injury built up Williams’ esteem.

“I was satisfied with being able to go to state, but I slipped up a few times and didn’t do so well,” Williams said.  “Now whenever I run events, I have a lot more confidence.  Now I always tell myself that I can’t lose.  It’s kind of being cocky, but if you’re confident, you can always do a lot better.”

Along with his confidence and skills, coaches also believe there are other growing factors contributing to William’s success on the track.

“His maturity has grown exponentially over the four years I’ve known him,” Mr. Mike Thebeau, track coach, said.  “Just watching him realize more about who he is and what he wants to do is great, and a lot of that has to do with his maturity.”

Along with the evolvement of Deonco’s character came the skills he uses to break records as an upperclassman.

 “I see it in practice and workouts where he’ll run and it just looks so smooth and effortless,” Lamason said.  “Getting his confidence up in a meet to where he can do that against competition was a struggle last year, but then at the last district meet in the Triple Jump, he jumped three feet farther than ever before.”

Williams also has support from his siblings, Kala and Kiya.

 “I’m very proud of him,” Kala Williams (11) said.  “He’s really fast, he perseveres and always gives everything he’s got.  I go [watch] whenever I can because I know he’s going to come out and win.”

Somehow Deonco always showed the potential to succeed.

“I always knew he was really fast, and he’s also really tall, so his legs are very strong,” Kiya Williams (11) said.  “He’s a very good at running, so I like to go and watch him.  I’m so happy for him because he’s doing something well.”

Statement players like Deonco Williams will leave a lasting mark in Eureka’s record-book, and will refuse to be forgotten as time presses on.  From the injury sophomore year to the try-outs his senior year, all eyes are on Williams’ for the upcoming season.  Track and field is no longer child’s play.

“I’m trying to really push myself in track, so I want to put in the time and effort that’s going to get me further after high school,” Deonco Williams said.  “It’s just what I have to do.”