Archive

ShareThis Page
Daily News spotlight athletes: Clairton’s Ryan Williams, Thomas Jefferson’s Kayla Smith | TribLIVE.com
News

Daily News spotlight athletes: Clairton’s Ryan Williams, Thomas Jefferson’s Kayla Smith

Tribune-Review
| Tuesday, November 4, 2014 10:20 p.m.
DNRyanWilliams110514
Submitted
Clairton's Ryan Williams
DNKaylaSmith110514
Submitted
Thomas Jefferson's Kayla Smith
DNRyanWilliams110514
Submitted
Clairton's Ryan Williams
DNKaylaSmith110514
Submitted
Thomas Jefferson's Kayla Smith

Ryan Williams

School: Clairton

Class: Senior

Sport: Football

Claim to fame: Williams completed 12 of 21 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns Friday to help the Bears defeat Chartiers-Houston in the opening round of the WPIAL Class A playoffs. The senior has amassed 1,907 passing yards and has thrown 25 touchdowns and only two interceptions this season.

“The transitions he’s made from last year into this year, and from what we’ve done this year to what we’ve done in the past speaks volumes about his knowledge of the game,” coach Wayne Wade said. “He’s been a vocal leader on the field like a quarterback should be. He gets us into our plays and makes the right checks and has done really well for us in that area. He’s a football player born and raised in Clairton. He plays with a lot of passion, and I’m glad we have him.”

What has been the key to the success you’ve had this season?

I would say just working hard in the offseason with my teammates and just staying focused.

Were you expecting this kind of run in the preseason?

I knew the harder we worked, the better the year we would have. We all stuck together. The offensive line has been blocking great, and our receivers have made great catches. It’s a team thing. We push each other. We’ve been working hard since February in the weight room. We knew in the offseason that if we stayed focused and kept our grades up, we would have a good year.

You guys haven’t lost a game yet. How do you stay focused from week to week?

We just take every game one at a time. You can’t overlook anybody, whether they’re undefeated or if they haven’t won a game; we treat every game like it’s a big one and we prepare for it that way. We have to stay focused from week to week.

Who do you consider a role model?

I’d say the players that started the (66-game) winning streak (2009-13). Watching them do so well, I figured I would be able to accomplish the same thing. There are so many people that have helped me along the way.

What are you going to be doing next year?

I would like to study journalism but I’m not sure about where. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

— Robert Stinner

Kayla Smith

School: Thomas Jefferson

Class: Junior

Sport: Volleyball

Claim to fame: Smith, a 6-foot middle hitter, has been an integral part of the Jaguars’ deep run in WPIAL and PIAA Class AA playoff competition. The junior has made a habit of stuffing her opponents at the net this season, evidenced by her 11-block performance in the team’s 3-0 sweep of Beaver in the WPIAL AA semifinal playoff game last week. Tuesday, Smith helped WPIAL runner-up Thomas Jefferson defeat St. Marys in straight sets in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs.

How did you get into playing volleyball?

Well, I didn’t make my seventh-grade team, so I ended up playing club. I got into that and I really started to like the sport, then I just kind of went on from there.

What can you take from the team’s run this year going forward?

I think we just have to take this momentum and use it to carry us all the way to the state finals. I think we’ll need to carry it over and use it for next season, too.

What are your plans for next year?

I’m still going to be middle hitter. I’ll just have to try to help us cope with losing a big outside hitter and another big middle hitter.

What classes do you enjoy the most?

Mostly chemistry and math. I just really like sciences. That’s what I’m looking at for colleges.

What kind of music do you like listening to?

I’ll really listen to anything besides country music and classical music. Recently, a lot of Drake.

— Kevin Lohman

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.