LUCASVILLE — Choosing to follow in his parents’ footsteps, Valley senior Breckon Williams became the latest member of the Williams clan to join an athletic program at Shawnee State University.
Joined by parents Brian and Shelly Williams — two of the first signees that competed as Bears as members of the baseball and volleyball programs respectively in the early 1990s — and older brother Tucker, Breckon signed to continue his education and baseball career at SSU in a signing ceremony inside the Valley High School gymnasium.
“I never thought I’d be able to sign and play at the college level,” Williams said. “To be able to do it is pretty cool, pretty special.”
Williams signed to SSU alongside senior teammate Andrew Andronis, both of which started during their freshman season — and helped lead the Indians to a Division III district championship.
“I was thinking about that last night. Growing up all throughout elementary, middle and high school playing pretty much every sport with him (Andronis), it’s pretty cool to be able to now go onto college and play together.”
Williams and his fellow senior classmates were shortchanged a junior season, as the cancellation of spring sports by the OHSAA in 2020 was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the summer of 2020, Williams competed alongside fellow Scioto Countians Clay Cottle and Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis as members of the Huntington Hounds — a non-profit travel organization which fields five teams ages 17-and-under.
Prior to that during the summers, Williams was a member of the Portsmouth Post 23 Legion Baseball junior and senior teams.
“We’ve been working harder than we expected to. After not being able to play last year, it hurt us a lot — missing out on a season,” Williams said. “Last summer, I was able to play summer baseball, but it all made me realize that things happen and you have to find ways to deal with it.”
Williams said he plans to major in Sports Management upon enrolling at SSU this coming fall, and will help the baseball program from any position the Bears’ coaching staff sees fit.
“It was pretty easy for me, how close it was to home and being able to play,” Williams said. “The coaches have told me I’d be playing middle infield, infield, outfield — anywhere they need me.”
Valley will be competing as a Division IV program once postseason play begins in May, and will likely be right there in the thick of the Southern Ohio Conference Division II race.
With a senior class that’s been part of a district championship team in 2018, and a younger group whose already showcased their skills in other sports so far in their Indian careers, Williams believes they’ll have the talent to make a run — both in the postseason and regular-season races.
“We’re going to be young, but we’re going to be really talented,” Williams said. “If we play together as a team, it should help us get really far in the postseason.”
Being joined by his coaches, family and friends, Williams added that he was grateful for their dedication to his baseball career that helped lead to last Friday’s signing.
“Grateful, blessed, thankful for the time they’ve put in to help put me in this position,” he said.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved