Williams makes college pledge

Photo by Travis David/Daily Clarion

Gibson Southern football player Bryce Williams signs his National Letter of Intent to continue his academic and football playing career at Anderson University on Thursday. Williams is joined by his brother Blake, father Brian and mother Stacey Williams.

FORT BRANCH -- Heading into his senior season, Bryce Williams was faced with a tough decision. The Gibson Southern athlete fell in love with the sport of soccer at an early age.

But after playing on the pitch through his junior year, Williams decided to take a gamble and give all of his attention to a different sport.

After two years of juggling both soccer and football, Williams decided to turn all of his attention to football.

That decision paid dividends in the end, as the Titan senior signed his national letter of intent to continue his academic and athletic career at Anderson University on Thursday.

"This is really cool," Williams said of signing his NLI on Thursday. "I have been

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hoping for this day for a while now and I am extremely happy it's here."

Giving up the sport he loved was not easy and up until a little over a month ago, Williams had doubts if he made the right choice.

"For a while I was like 'what if losing to Memorial for the third year in a row would be my last game,' " Williams explained. "I was OK with that because I made that last extra point and had a really nice kickoff, but at the same time I did not want it to be over."

Although the season and his high school career came to an end to the Titans biggest rival on the gridiron, Williams also views the game as one of his fondest memories.

"Coming off the field after that last kickoff and hugging (assistant) coach (Dan) Deer is just something I will never forget," the Titans kicker stated. "He's been my best friend for the last three years and he's taught me everything I know. Just being able to share that moment with him was great."

The Titans averaged over 41 points a game last season while scoring 67 touchdowns. With such a potent offense, Gibson Southern head coach Nick Hart did not like it in the few times his offense stalled, but knowing he had Williams ready to go made the feeling better.

"He broke the record for most field goals in a season with eight, which is a record we do not want to set out to achieve as we want to score touchdowns," Hart said with a chuckle. "But having him as a weapon is nice to have..just a valuable weapon to have in high school football."

Williams missed just two kicks all season. He finished the year making good on eight of his nine field goal attempts and 64 of 65 points after touchdown.

Hart mentioned the one missed PAT "was not Bryce's fault."

Williams sealed the Titans 24-14 win over Heritage Hills in the sectional. His 23-yard boot gave the Titans a 10-point edge in the closing moments.

"He made a lot of big kicks for us, not just a lot of unimportant ones," the Titans coach said. "He is the hardest working kicker I have coached and he is very deserving of being able to continue his playing career."

The future Ravens kicker mentioned when he first set foot on campus he knew its where he wanted to go.

"The whole team and staff were great to me," he explained. "When I was walking through campus on my tour a lot of the players would stop me and tell me how I needed to come here...I just knew this is where I needed to be."

He also mentioned Anderson has a great exercise science and physical therapy program which is what he plans to major in while enrolled.

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