Riverside High School senior Johnny Williams, the Planters Bank Player of the Week, does whatever his team needs him to do.
Williams is, technically, the Bulldogs’ starting wide receiver and defensive end, but this only scratches the surface.
“Johnny can play anywhere on the field defensively. He leads our team in sacks and overall tackles,” Riverside head coach Jim Risen said. “You can also put Johnny anywhere on offense. You can put him at full back, running back, tight end, wide receiver. He can also play quarterback for us and return kickoffs on special teams.”
Williams said his football versatility comes from his desire to win. He is not interested in personal glory.
“Football has taught me a lot about life,” he said. “Things are going to get harder everyday, and if you want something you are going to have to work for it. It’s more important to help your teammates than to help yourselves.”
Risen, in his third season, first met Williams when he was a skinny sophomore. Risen said it is a credit to Williams’ work ethic that he has transformed himself into a bigger and more chiseled athlete.
“Johnny leads in everything he does,” Risen said. “He leads vocally and he leads through his ability. He is down to earth and he gets along with everyone on the team. Johnny has a huge devotion to the game. When he walks up, you can see it in his eyes how much the game means to him.”
Williams and his Bulldogs will hope to notch their first win of the season this Friday when they host Leflore County (3-3).
Behind a strong core group of players, like Williams, the Bulldogs still hope to build on the momentum that was created last season when the Bulldogs made their first playoff appearance in five seasons.