Selfless Leadership

Selfless isn’t a word used to describe most teenagers, especially when describing a three sport athletic powerhouse like Kyle Williams, but his father, Jason Williams, believes that it portrays his son perfectly. “He is such a selfless, tender-hearted kid. He would much rather help someone than be helped.”

Hurricane High Class of 2016 Baseball, Football & Basketball 3.98GPA

Involving himself in the community by doing service is one way that this Hurricane High senior shows his compassion towards others. This Christmas, he traveled to Mexico to assist in the feeding and clothing of over 200 people with a group sponsored by Bill Zitting, even though doing so caused him to miss a basketball tournament. In addition, his Hurricane Leadership Academy team advertised, organized, and obtained donations from various businesses for a pickleball tournament held to raise money for Peter Lewis, a hurricane student who has inoperable brain cancer. They raised over $3,000 to give to the family to cover medical bills and travel expenses.

Kyle’s selflessness also follows him onto the field. His father explains, “A trait of his that’s really endearing is that he is all about the other players not himself. He’s not a ‘look at me’ kind of player. He’s a really good leader because he leads by example. He’s willing to take the time to make sure that everyone is included and that everyone has fun. He’s good at encouraging his teammates and making sure that they all have a good time.” Kyle agrees. He believes that his fellow teammates will remember him for his jokes and his personality. Kyle explains, “Everyone is always so serious before and during games. I always want to lighten the mood, I guess, just make sure that everybody has fun and has a good time while playing. There’s no point of playing anything unless you are having fun doing it.” Kyle’s fellow teammates agree that he always has a smile on his face and a joke on his lips. Kirt McDaniel, center fielder for the Hurricane Baseball Team adds, “He’s never super serious. He’s always loose and having a good time. He makes it fun, so you don’t get sick of it.”

Having fun and looking out for his fellow teammates is something that Kyle tries to bring to every sport that he plays be it baseball, football, or basketball. This positive, fun-loving attitude was definitely one of the reasons his football coaches awarded him with the Tiger Heart Award. This award is given to the player who is always there to pick other players up when they are down; and who is a really good guy on and off the field. This portrays Kyle perfectly. He is aggressive and plays to win, but he will always be there to help his teammates and his opponents up when they are down.

Describing himself, Kyle says that he’s a pretty light-hearted, out-going guy. This may be due in part to the influence of his receiver/freshman baseball coach and high school counselor, John Homer, who has helped Kyle mentally by being positive and upbeat about everything. Kyle explains his relationship with his mentor in this way, “We have a really good personal connection. He took me under his wing and really instructed me and helped me get better at everything that I’m doing.” Coach Homer’s ability to look at the good in Kyle has helped Kyle do the same for others.

Busy is another word to describe this Hurricane senior. Not only does he play football, basketball, and baseball while maintaining a 3.98 GPA, but he also participates in Hurricane High’s Executive Council as the Activities Coordinator. While personally playing football this season, his committee was also in charge of Homecoming and all the activities associated with it including the Homecoming Dance. For the dance, he had to help decorate, coordinate the DJ, and many other odds and ends to make sure that everything was perfect. Kyle remembers it as a fun but super stressful week. Helping with all the activities, playing football in the homecoming game, and competing for the Mr. Tiger Crown (Homecoming King) made his Homecoming experience unforgettable!

So, what is a typical day like for the tri-sport athlete? Almost every day, he wakes up around 7:00 am to get ready for school. After school, he practices from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm usually staying until 6:30-6:45 pm. Upon arriving home, he completes his homework, eats dinner, then goes to sleep so that he can wake up and do it all over again the next day. Does this ever stop? Kyle explains, “I play three sports, so my whole school year is pretty much like that. I’m always bouncing out from one thing to the other. My life is so busy. It doesn’t stop, but I like it because it keeps me out of bad things.”

With Kyle’s busy schedule playing sports and being on the executive council, he insists that time management is one of the most important lessons that he has learned through his athletic endeavors. Managing the limited time that he has for school work is a skill that he will certainly continue to use throughout life along with the social skills that he has acquired. “Playing sports helps you build relationships due to the fact that you have to be outgoing, and you have to meet a lot of people. It’s good to have people skills especially when you are doing job interviews.” Kyle feels like he has also blossomed his senior year through his duties as an executive council member. Getting up to talk during assemblies is good experience because any job will require presentations and being up in front of people.

When asked if he had any hobbies outside of athletics, he replied that he had no extra hobbies because his life is sports. That’s no surprise due to the fact that he plays football, basketball, and baseball pretty much year round with tournaments and camps which are held during summer’s off season. So, what is Kyle’s favorite sport? It’s a toss up between football and baseball because he really likes both of them. He enjoys baseball because it is the most challenging and takes a lot of hard work to get good at it, and football because it just comes easy and is a lot of fun.

Kyle’s most memorable baseball experience comes against Dixie. In a really tight game during his freshman year, Kyle found himseld on first base. However, Kyle was not going to leave this game to chance. If he could put himself in a position to help his team he would. So, when he saw his opening, he stole second base. Dixie’s catcher overthrew the ball, so Kyle kept running was able to run all the bases and score the winning run for the Tigers.

According to Kyle’s dad, Jason, Kyle has been playing baseball since he was around 3 years-old when he began T-ball. He came up through the minors and majors with his older brother, Jay, who continues to be one of Kyle’s best friends. Playing with Jay and his friends gave Kyle a leg up on his competition as he worked harder to keep up with boys 2 years older. He continued this trend when playing varsity as a sophomore with Jay as center fielder and himself as second base.

Kyle hopes to attend DSU with his older brother Jay. Although not 100% sure, the field of computer technology has caught his eye.

Going into his senior year of play, Kyle will be one of Hurricane’s starting pitchers. During non-pitching games, he will play either second or third base. An interesting fact about Kyle is that although he pitches and throws with his right hand, he bats left-handed making him a couple steps closer to first base. As a sophomore, Kyle usually followed his older brother in the batting line-up as second batter, but now, he’s the lead-off hitter. When talking about batting, Kyle admits, “I’m not a power hitter, but I’m good at getting on base.”

With his speed, that’s no surprise. Kyle’s friend and fellow teammate, Kirt McDaniel, who has played on All-star baseball teams with Kyle since third or fourth grade, says that Kyle is the only person he has ever seen steal home base. It does take some speed to accomplish that daring feat! With faith in tow, what does the future hold for this amazing athlete? Only time will tell. Participating in athletics, being involved in the community, and looking out for those around him certainly guarantees a bright future for this amazing young man. • HSSI