Whether leading the offensive line or plugging away at a calculus problem, John Williams values nothing more than hard work.
“I was never afraid to get on my teammates,” says the Woodmore High School graduate. “If they weren’t going hard, I’d call them on it. You’ve got to be giving it your best at every moment or you’re just not trying hard enough.”
The 2015 Martin Marietta scholarship winner's on-the-field intensity led to leadership roles on the Ohio high school’s varsity football team, but another set of values allowed him to earn respect on the baseball diamond.
Leah, John and Robert Williams.
Despite suffering a series of injuries that forced him to miss his entire junior season and more than half of his senior season, Williams attended each and every game and practice, providing moral support where he could.
“At one point, the coach took me aside and said, ‘I know you’re not playing much this season, but you’re a great leader and the heart and soul of this team,’” Williams says.
The 18-year-old, whose father, Robert Williams, is a shipping supervisor in the Company’s Magnesia Specialties division, instills similar values in the young baseball players he coaches for the Woodville Youth Organization.
“I’ve tried to teach these young kids the right ways to throw, hit and catch, but more importantly, I’ve tried to teach them how to be good role models off the field,” he says.
At times a teacher and always a student, Williams says the most vital skill he’s honed over the years is an ability to honestly critique his own performance.
Looking toward the fall, when he’ll start an aerospace engineering program at Florida’s Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the teen believes the only certain path to success involves constant improvement.
“Overall, I don’t feel that I’m where I need to be,” he says, “but I can study hard and, within the first year or two, I will reach my goals.”