Overcoming All Odds

Photo by Robert Hoppie ASPPix.com

“What do I fear? I fear stagnation and lack of progress. I fear never reaching my potential and being average. I fear being forgotten…The past…Yesterday’s news. I fear giving up and being passed by, going softly into that good night. I fear letting those I love down, letting myself down. I fear settling, giving in to the ‘that’s just the way it is’ mindset. I fear dying without leaving my mark. I fear not feeling these fears anymore and just floating along. These fears feed me, they nourish my drive….I LOVE MY FEAR.” (author unkown)

Cedar High Class of 2016 Softball, Volleyball & Basketball 3.76GPA

This is a quote that was given to Hannah by a school teammate, Tara Shipp, when Hannah was only a freshmen. It has driven Hannah throughout her high school career. It has powerful words, and can lead one to believe, at first, that fear is the focus. In Williams case, fear is what drives her to become amazing…and that she is.

On November 23, 2011, the day before Thanksgiving, Hannah woke up excited to soon be starting her Thanksgiving Break. Her father was asleep, but after a while, Hannah decided to check on her father, and to her worst fear, her father had passed away. Hannah was the one there, with him, and had to make the scary phone call to 9-1-1. She was scared and worried that her future could never be the same now that her father had gone. It was a very tough time in Hannah’s life. Fortunately for Hannah, her mother, Teresa, saw the potential in her daughter, and despite the hard times the whole family had to go through with grieving and sadness, they knew it was important to get through it, together. As a family, they learned that they CAN overcome hard things. They also learned that if they can overcome this sadness and loss, that they can truly, overcome anything.

For Hannah, being able to talk about her Dad was very helpful. “She never shut-off about her Father’s death. She was very open about her feelings. We let her know that it was okay to cry, and she did, and that was what helped her, and all of us get through this” Teresa said.

Something that was helpful in getting Hannah her focus back, was sports. Hannah has always loved athletics. When she moved to Cedar City from Parowan in the 6th grade, she remembers being happy that there were so many more opportunities for her to play sports, and more consistently. She was a 3-sport lettermen by the time she was a sophomore in basketball, volleyball, and softball. Although she excels highly in both basketball and volleyball, softball is her favorite sport. Hannah was on the 1st Team All-Region for softball her sophomore and junior year. Due to her great success in this sport, many colleges have sought her out. Southern Utah University (SUU) is the lucky place where Hannah has signed, and will be continuing on her softball career as a catcher and 3rd base player after she finisheS her senior year at Cedar High.

Most athletes excel in other things besides just athletics, and Williams is no different. She currently serves as the Student Body Service Representative at Cedar High School. With this responsibility, she performs hundreds of hours of service throughout the year making posters, school t-shirts, arranging other volunteers to help with several school events, such as Back to school, Homecoming week, Winter week, and much more. Some of her favorite service opportunities were when she and her other student body officers and volunteers were there to hand out hot chocolate right before the Christmas break began. She also loved Homecoming week, it entailed late nights which were all dedicated in service. Hannah believes that through service all things can become great. She has proven that to be true.

Math! This is Hannah’s favorite subject, and her reason for this is, “there is always a right answer.” Luckily for Hannah, she is pretty good at it too. Although Hannah has signed with SUU to play softball, she still has her future to think about and has always had the desire to go into the medical field. Her aspirations are to become a PA (Physician’s Assistant), where she will be able to continue helping others, and make a big difference.

Photo by Robert Hoppie ASPPix.com

Looking back over the last couple of years, Hannah says she has a great memory of a dear friend, Lisa Ballenger. Ballenger tore her ACL in just her third game of the season in basketball. She remembers Ballenger being devastated, but never giving up. Although her ACL was torn, she still played, and postponed her surgery as long as she could so she could be there for her team. This was a memorable moment for Hannah, because despite what Ballenger was going through, she was still a great leader and didn’t let any of her teammates, including Hannah, give up. Ballenger was there to push her teammates and to encourage them. Hannah is grateful to her for pushing her passed what Hannah believed she could do

“No matter what your goals are, there is always someone there that wants to or can help you. Don’t try and reach your goals on your own” says Hannah. This is a powerful statement, and something that so many could learn from. We all need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it, and get yourself to where you want to be.

Hannah Williams is a good athlete, friend, sister, a good daughter, but most importantly, a good person. Good luck throughout the rest of your senior year, and we’ll all be watching for you at SUU. • HSSI