Name: Ryan Williams
School: Newark, junior
Why she was selected: Williams had a triple, double, walk-off home run and seven runs batted in in Newark’s regional final win over Indian Creek. She was chosen as the Athlete of the Week in an online vote. Here is her interview with Joshua Welge.
Welge: Have you ever had a game like that? Did you realize at the time you were having such a big game?
Williams: When I am in the moment I truly don’t realize to what extent I am playing. I more look at how we are doing as a whole, and that game in particular we as a team played very very well. I was just trying to put good at bats together and help the team the best I could.
Welge: Your team’s lineup has put up some big numbers. What makes it so good?
Williams: We have very talented girls who have been around the game a long time and are very hardworking and passionate, out to win. That is why I think our lineup is very good. I think it is balance. We have a great leadoff hitter that gets on base super well, and a No. 2 hitter that can leg out bunts and hit very really well. And the rest have really great power, and are scrappy.
Welge: I heard that you are playing this season with a torn ACL. True? What made you decide to play with it and how do you manage the injury?
Williams: Yes, it is true. I was trying my best to draw as little attention to it as possible in attempts to not draw the attention away from our team or have teams play us differently based on that. But unfortunately, that has been quite difficult. I decided to play through it because this season we have very talented girls, especially our senior class, and I wanted to play for them and help the team as a whole to the best of my ability. I did not want to miss this opportunity to help our team make another state run! I am managing it by wearing a brace and doing as much strengthening as possible every day. My mom is a physical therapist which helps tremendously. I am doing the best I can with what I am working with. I am extremely passionate about this game and to play one last high school season and travel season (important year for recruiting) is totally worth it to me.
Welge: What are your plans after high school?
Williams: I have a few options that I am trying to narrow down at the moment, some really great opportunities to both continue my softball athletic career as well as my academic career on the path to becoming a veterinarian. I am super excited about the next chapter!
Welge: What’s the key to your team continuing its playoff run and maybe go back to state and do well there?
Williams: I think the key for our team making it to state again is playing together as a whole and rooting for each other always. “Play fast, play loose, play aggressive, play fearless” as [Newark] coach Tim [Schofield] always says.