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Athlete Worth Watching: Ethon Williams

Sep 02, 2018 12:00AM ● Published by Brian Saucedo

By Tom Worgo

If anyone knows an elite athlete when he sees one, it’s Broadneck’s Ken Kazmarek, who has been a coach and athletic director at the school for 36 years. That’s exactly how he sizes up three-sport senior standout Ethon Williams.

“I think he could be a Division I athlete at anything he tried,” Kazmarek says. “He ranks as one of the more prominent athletes we’ve had here.”

Williams, a senior, also might be one of the hardest workers the school has ever seen as he excelled in track, football, and basketball. Before Williams would practice with his
track and field team this past spring and run sprints for up to an hour and half daily, he lifted weights for 45 minutes as part of the school’s off-season football training program.

“I really don’t get tired,” says Williams, who was named unsung hero of the track team. “I can go full speed in back-to-back workouts. My endurance is pretty high.”

Broadneck Football Coach Rob Harris doesn’t think of Williams as an unsung hero. He praises Williams, a three-year starter at wide receiver, for his outstanding talent and commitment. He will graduate from Broadneck a semester early and attend Boston College, where he will play football on a scholarship and major in business and management. 

The 6-foot, 195-pound Williams also had offers from West Virginia, Kent State, and Howard. “He runs a 4.4 [40-yard dash],” Harris says. “He is a super dedicated athlete who hasn’t missed a workout in his time with us. We do workouts every month of the year except for December.”

Boston College is getting a highly productive wideout. Williams has amassed 130 receptions for 2,330 yards and 31 touchdowns in his career. The 17-year-old senior holds the school record for receiving yards and should surpass Jason Smith’s career mark for receptions (146).

But those aren’t the numbers Williams has zeroed in on. He badly wants to break the county record owned by Arundel’s Ronnie Harris for receptions (190), yards (2,713), and touchdowns (48). Williams, who is nothing if not confident, also feels he has a legitimate shot to surpass the state record in touchdowns (49) and yards (4,149).

“I am really going to try my best to break those state records,” says Williams, who caught 66 passes for 1,123 yards and 19 touchdowns last year for the 11-1 Bruins. “It would really make me believe I am an elite receiver because there are so many great receivers that have come out of Maryland. It would make me feel amazing.”

Harris is going to give Williams a new challenge this fall: starting safety. He’s never played defense for the Bruins, but his coach expects great performances.

“He will be a presence in the middle of the field,” Harris says of Williams, who started playing football in the Cape St. Claire Cougars program 10 years ago. “If coaches see a Division I kid back there, they are going to say, ‘Let’s not throw his way.’”

Williams has also been a valuable member of Broadneck’s basketball team. He worked as a sixth man during his sophomore year season and started part-time as a junior. “He was a critical player for us in the fourth quarter,” Broadneck Boys Basketball Coach John Williams says. “He would defend the other team’s go-to player. He was good enough and athletic enough where he could defend a point guard or even a post player. He rebounded for his size very well.”

And he may have been the fastest player on the court. Williams finished third in the Class 4A state championships in May in the 100 meters by running a school-record 10.98 seconds. He also shined in the long jump, high jump, 110 hurdles, and relays during his career.

“If track was the only thing he did, he could have been one of the best in the state of Maryland by the way he runs and jumps,” Broadneck Track and Field Coach Andy Villwock says. “He has that type of athleticism.”