Ooltewah's Williams Signs With Northwest Missouri

Bearcats Won 2013 NCAA Division II National Title

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - by Larry Fleming

Ooltewah’s Mike Williams, one of District 5-AAA’s most respected wide receiver threats in 2013, has signed a football scholarship with Northwest Missouri State, the defending NCAA Division II national champion.

Williams chose the Bearcats, members of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Conference, over Carson-Newman, in Jefferson City, Tenn., and Paine College, in Augusta College, which will return to Division II football in 2014 for the first time in 50-plus years.

The 6-foot-1-inch, 175-pound former Owls standout visited Northwest Missouri in Maryville, Mo., last week and committed to the Bearcats during his trip. He signed scholarship papers on Monday.

“I’m pretty pumped up about going out there,” Williams said Tuesday night. “It’s a nice town, the coaches are nice and they have pretty much Division I facilities. They usually redshirt every freshman they sign, but I want to play my freshman year. If I get out there and they’ve got better players ahead of me I don’t mind redshirting.”

Williams wrapped up his Ooltewah career with sparkling numbers in 2013, grabbing 52 passes for 658 yards and eight touchdowns. He rushed five times for 76 yards and two scores while leading the Owls to a 9-3 record, including a 26-19 loss to district rival East Hamilton in the second round of the Class 5-A playoffs.

For his career, Williams had 89 receptions for 1,358 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Also a defensive stalwart, Williams had three interceptions and blocked 10 kicks in 2013.

“Mike was our go-to guy,” Owls coach Mac Bryan said. “When the defense lined up, offensively we did what they were doing to him. He played great defense in critical situations too. He’s a great kid with a great work ethic, has great character and is a first-class kid.

“He’s going to a football program that’s as good as it gets in Division II. I think he’ll do a great job out there.”

Northwest Missouri went 15-0 last season and defeated Lenoir Ryne, 43-28, in Florence, Ala., for the Division II national title. It was the school’s fourth championship, with the other three coming in 1998 (the Bearcats also went 15-0 that year), 1999 and 2009.

The Bearcats are coached by Adam Dorrel, the 2013 American Football Coaches Association and MIAA Coach of the Year and takes 36-6 overall and 25-4 MIAA records into his ninth season in 2014.

Northwest Missouri’s offense has averaged 45.7 points per game, scored 59 points in eight different games and produced a sixth round draft choice – Brandon Dixon – by the New York Jets under Dorrel, an All-America offensive lineman during his playing days with the Bearcats.

On Nov. 15, the Bearcats will play MIAA rival Washburn in Arrowhead Stadium, their 13th appearance in the home of the Kansas City Chiefs. Northwest Missouri has won nine of those games and seven times the attendance exceeded 20,000.

“Mike’s a good player,” said Bryan, entering his second season with the Owls. “Two years from now he’s going to be a good mid-major receiver. With his work ethic, he’ll do what needs to be done.”

Williams visited Carson-Newman, but his decision to attend Northwest Missouri was basically set in stone last Wednesday during his trip Maryville.

“I committed to them while I was there,” Williams said. “Carson-Newman offered me a pretty good deal, but I had a pretty good feel about Northwest Missouri and felt like that was the best place for me.

“I had a great time at Ooltewah and I’ll miss the teachers, administration and coaches – they all helped me get through and make the opportunity to play football in college happen.”

Williams became academically eligible late and feels that kept him from possibly receiving more serious looks by Division I schools. However, he said he ended up with a 3.25 grade-point average and made all A’s in his core classes prior to graduation.

“I’m very happy about that,” Williams said. “That gives me confidence that I can do all right in college. I almost waited too long to get my grades in order, but coach (Doug) Greene told me what I had to do and I did it.”

When it became obvious his Division I plans would not materialize, Williams sent highlight tapes to about 15 Division II schools and got responses from “three or four.”

Northwest Missouri, which recruited Williams to play wide receiver, was one of those schools.

Williams said he will report to school on Aug. 12.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @larryfleming44)










University Of Mobile Defeats Dalton State Soccer

The (RV) University of Mobile Rams came to Dalton and knocked off the young (19) Dalton State Roadrunners, 1-0.  The fans were still filing into Lakeshore Park Thursday night when the University of Mobile’s Pierre Mangold kicked the only goal of the game with only 48 seconds played. “We were not ready to play the match,” said Dalton State Coach Kerem Daser. "It’s ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Silverdale Defeats Grace For District 5-1A Crown

Chattanooga Putting World Class Guitar Collection On Display At The Choo Choo

A world class guitar collection is set to go on display permanently at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. "Songbirds," which is built around the collection of Lookout Mountain businessman Thorpe McKenzie, was introduced to the public on Thursday night. Invited guests at the Choo Choo heard Nashville guitar star Doyle Dykes perform in the Choo Choo's new Revelry Room. He played some ... (click for more)

Father Killed By Train Just After Pushing Daughter To Safety In East Brainerd

A 31-year-old man was killed just after he pushed his 10-year-old daughter to safety in an encounter with a train on a trestle in East Brainerd on Thursday afternoon. Police said two pedestrians were walking on the train tracks on a trestle at Audubon Acres when a train came around a bend and struck one of them. Justin McCary was struck by the train as he pushed ... (click for more)

Regulations As A Whole On Signal Mountain

A few years ago I was flying over Chattanooga on my way to Atlanta.  The sun had just come up and I enjoyed picking out Signal Mountain’s location, on Walden’s Ridge, in the morning light.  What was amazing was that I could not tell that a town existed under the tree canopy.  I hope that the same can be said 10, 20, or even 50 years from now.  During last ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Must Learn To Tell

On July 4th of this year, FBI agents – acting on a tip -- arrested Alexander Ciccolo, a 23-year-old with known mental problems, as he carried a duffel bag full of automatic-attack weapons. Moments before, he had bought the illegal firearms from an undercover informant outside of Boston. As agents later scoured his apartment, they found bomb-making equipment including a pressure ... (click for more)