Rushing Past the Odds

 Austin Evans

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Photo by Ryan Meyers

Whether it’s laughing at a joke his friends made, or saying hello to a staff member, Nak’emon never stops smiling. Nak’emon Williams is the star running back for the football team.  However, watching him on the football field makes you forget that he is a human being.

Nak’emon Williams has his own human story to tell. A story far off the football field starting in downtown Cincinnati.

Williams bounced around from foster home to foster home. He had many siblings and a harsh and abusing mother. During this time, Williams had lost a brother, although he claims it, “motivates [him] to go farther in life.”

When Nak’emon was in fourth grade, him and his brother Keenan finally found a home in the Kings school district when their sister Nakeita claimed custody of them.

Since then, he’s lived in the Kings community and has loved it. “Going through the long process of foster care and adoption was hard but it made me want to work harder than most,” Nak’emon says.

Nak’emon lost his father early in life, so not having a father figure growing up was hard for him. That’s when Coach Olds and other coaches in the community came in. Williams says, “ Coach Olds, Coach Garvin, and Coach Corradini have helped me through mostly everything. I could always go to them because they were always there no matter what time it was.”

Williams and Coach Olds will argue back and forth on who has had a bigger impact on whom. “You know, he probably doesn’t realize this but he’s helped me be a better coach because coaching to me is trying to find ways to get the best out of people. I chose to coach running backs this year because of Nak’emon.”

One of Nak’emons long time best friends, Jake Stylski, says, “ Nak’emon is a very positive guy who is extremely athletic and tries to be friends with everyone. He’s goofy and can brighten your day at any point. It is rare to see him in a bad mood. He’s been a great friend to me and has shown me what it’s like to try to keep a positive attitude no matter what.” Jake is definitely not the only person that has good things to say about him. One of Williams closest friends Jessica Wright talked about Nak’emons selflessness. “ Nak’emon has taught me a lot about selflessness. He is always someone who looks out for others even if he isn’t doing well. He puts others over himself. He also always looks for the best in his life and is always positive,” Jessica states.

Nak’emon is not only a positive person to be around, he’s also one of the best running backs in all of Ohio.

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Photo by Gracie Bloomfield

Ending his senior year, Williams racked up 26 rushing touchdowns along with 1,599 rushing yards. Earning him 1st team All ECC honors, along with 1st team All Southwest Ohio, and Honorable Mention All State Ohio. Earning those accolades got him noticed by big named colleges, most notable University of Cincinnati and Youngstown State University, both giving him preferred walk-on opportunities.

Not only football players, but also kids and other students look up to him to motivate them to work harder, no matter how hard life can be. Nak’emon is a huge positive figure in the community. Nak’emon says he, “motivates kids by just being a leader.”