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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dade Middle School Girls Win NGAC Championship

The Dade Middle School Lady Wolverines beat Ringgold Middle School 37-34 last Saturday to earn the 2016 NGAC girls basketball championship.  Tori Williams led the team with 12 points and was named MVP.  Meghan Schauer had nine points and Jayda Woods had five.   The team is coached by Regina Logan.   (click for more)

Lee University Hosts Events During Thursday's Doubleheader

A couple of major events are scheduled for Walker Arena on Thursday evening when the Lee University basketball teams host the University of West Alabama in a Gulf South Conference doubleheader beginning at 6 p.m.   The world famous Gym Masters from Southern Adventist University will be making their annual appearance at halftime of the men’s game. It is a great time to see ... (click for more)

WWTA, Grimes, Clem Lambasted At Boyd Public Forum

Over 50 people turned out Tuesday night on a meeting called by County Commissioner Tim Boyd over issues with the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA), and many took turns lambasting the agency, director Cleveland Grimes and attorney Chris Clem. Commissioner Boyd said at the end of the hour and a half session at the East Ridge Community Center, "If less ... (click for more)

City Facing Millions In Catchup Costs For Fire And Police Pension Fund

City Council members were told Tuesday they are facing millions of dollars in catchup costs for the fire and police pension fund. Pension fund officials said the city will need to invest some $1.6 million per year more with the fund to keep up with the latest state requirement. Frank Hamilton said the fund has been at a level of about 60 percent of obligations, but that needs ... (click for more)

Rick Smith Should Not Be Paid To Leave

Taxpayers of Hamilton County should take note that a majority of the members of the school board are getting ready to give Rick Smith the buyout that he wants.  Do you agree that someone should be paid for taking the coward's way out?  Rick Smith should be fired for cause. Not paid to leave.   If you don't want the board members to pay him off, call or ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Grab The Reaching Hand

Three of Tennessee’s largest four cities are now searching for school superintendents. Jesse Register retired last June and, after botching the first attempt, Nashville city leaders are intensely helping the Board of Education in a search for the best candidate. In Knoxville and Chattanooga the superintendents have resigned, both under a cloud, and now the leaders of the ‘2.0’ initiative ... (click for more)