Photo by Derrick Mahone
Forest Park junior Brandon Williams has practiced both football and track and field this week. Williams will compete in Thursday’s field events at the Class AAAAA meet in Jefferson.
FOREST PARK — Call it mother’s intuition, but Brenda Williams had a sense that her son, Brandon, was going to be an athlete.
The mother was so confident that she nicknamed him “Magic,” because of his athletic potential.
So far, mother knows best as Brandon has become one of the top three-sport athletes in the county. Despite his teams’ struggles, Williams has been a standout on the football, basketball and track and field teams at Forest Park.
On Thursday, he will head to Jefferson to compete in the Class AAAAA track and field championship at Memorial Stadium. He is the only member of the boys track team to make it out of the Region 4-AAAAA championship and advance through Sectionals last week.
“I think it is an honor to represent my school at state,” Williams said. “I’m pretty excited about the opportunity to compete against some of the best athletes in the state.”
But the first-time state qualifier said he is not nervous or intimidated by what awaits him in Jefferson.
“I’m shooting for a top five finish,” Williams said. “I think I can compete with the others up there.”
Williams placed sixth in the Sectionals in his lone event — the high jump. He had a jump of 6-feet, two inches at Starr’s Mill High in Fayette County to advance to this week’s state meet.
This has been a busy week for Williams as he has bounced around from football and track practice leading up to the state meet. The Panthers opened spring practice on Monday under new coach John Diehl.
“It has been real exhausting going from track to football,” he said. “I usually get home, take a nap and then wake up to do homework. I think it is going to be worth it.”
Williams is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound two-way starter on the Panthers football team. As a junior, he had 62 carries for 431 yards and three touchdowns despite the team struggling through an 0-10 season.
He also had 18 catches for 205 yards, and on the defensive side as a linebacker, he had 87 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and three sacks.
On the basketball court, Williams made the all-region team despite the team’s 4-22 finish. He averaged 10.6 points and 7.6 rebounds, both team highs for the Panthers.
But for Williams, track was a way for him to increase his speed and stay in shape until spring practice started. When he saw an opportunity to compete in the field events to help his team score points, Williams quickly volunteered. This was the first time he has ran track since his eighth-grade year at Babb Middle School.
Now, he is headed to the state meet.
“It is really special to go to the meet,” Williams said. “I want to go there and represent my school.”