50 in 50: George Walton Academy … Opponents can count on a heavy dose of Stanley Williams

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Three things will be certain in Monroe this fall: death, taxes, and Stanley Williams carrying the football a bunch of times.

With just seven of 22 starters returning from the George Walton Academy team that advanced to the Class A semi-finals last season, Bulldog head coach Don Williams (no relation to Stanley) said GWA will rely on Williams a great deal in 2013. As such, even at the Class A level where many players take significant snaps on offense and defense, Williams will not see much time as a defender.

“He comes up [from the secondary] and supports the run pretty good, but we’ve got to rest him some,” Don Williams said. “He’s a special, special football player but we’ve got to rest him some.”

Actually, Williams said he may have rested the junior — who famously picked up his first scholarship offer from UGA head coach Mark Richt between his freshman and sophomore seasons after blazing a sub-4.4 40-yard dash at Dawg Night — too much in the Bulldogs’ semi-final loss.

“He’s such a threat to go the distance every time he touches the ball. We probably didn’t get him the ball enough in the second half,” Williams said of the 27-14 loss to eventual-champion Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy. “Something like one out of every four or five times he carries the ball is a big play or a touchdown. He has great vision, great quickness and he’s super fast.”

His combination of speed (he is currently ranked first in Class A in the 100 meters) and strength have earned Williams, who goes by the appropriate nickname “Boom,” nearly 20 scholarship offers. The impressive list of suitors includes LSU, Tennessee, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech and UGA, where Williams initially committed before recently re-opening his recruitment. Still, Don Williams said none of the attention has gone to his head.

“It’s amazing. Getting an offer in the tenth grade would be enough to give most kids the big head. That’s a lot to handle,” Williams said. “But not Stanley. He’s a great kid and his teammates love him. His teachers in the school love him and the folks in our community love him.

“What he’s got is a blessing from God,” Williams said. “It’s a special gift that’s been given to him and he owes a lot for that, and he knows that. He stays humble and keeps working hard.”

Williams will need that work ethic and then some this spring and summer, as one of the top objectives for the team is for him to be in the best shape of his life, according to his coach.

“We’ve got to get him in great shape because he’s going to go from carrying it 15-20 times a game to carrying it 25-30 times a game,” Williams said. “He knows what we’re going to need from him if we’re going to be successful. We lost a lot of good players, but he’ll have some help.”

A pair of juniors, fullback/safety Nick Waters and linebacker/offensive tackle Patrick Stewart, will lead the way, along with Williams. After an outstanding freshman season, receiver/defensive back Dimetrios Mason has emerged as the heir apparent to Williams at tailback, but will remain at receiver for another year. Sophomore tight end Josh Holton is already receiving attention from recruiters, while the race to replace stand-out quarterback Hunter Rice, a senior who is being recruited heavily as a baseball player, is between junior Cale Brown and sophomore Tucker Shull.

The Bulldogs will get tested early and often, competing in Region 8, one of the deepest regions in the state. Five of the seven teams in the league earned high enough power rankings to advance to the state playoffs.

“I’ve been on both sides of it, getting beat 50-0 and winning 50-0,” Don Williams said. “I don’t like games where we win by that much. I don’t like games where you don’t have to play your best to win. In our region, you have to play your best to win and that’s how it should be.”

GEORGE WALTON ACADEMY BULLDOGS

2012 record: 9-4; lost to eventual Class A Private School champion Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy, 27-14, in the state semi-finals.

Starters returning: 3 offense; 4 defense

Key players lost: QB/DB Hunter Rice; FB/DE/LB Tyler Jarvis (Western Carolina); OL/DL Chad Howell (Georgia Tech – Preferred walk-on); LB Evan South; OL/DL Andrew Bullard; TE/DT Geno Bailey (Point University); NT Mason Johnson (LaGrange); WR/DB Casey Shubert (Brevard).

Key players returning: RB Stanley Williams (5-10, 195); FB/DB Nick Waters (6-0, 185); LB/DE/OT Patrick Stewart (6-4, 270); WR/DB Dimetrios Mason (5-10, 160).

Spring practice dates: May 6-17

Schedule: TBA (Scrimmage) at Walnut Grove; Aug. 30 at First Presbyterian Day; Sept. 6 at Aquinas; Sept. 13 vs. Holy Innocents; Sept. 20 vs. Warren County; Sept. 27 at Commerce; Oct. 4 vs. Hebron Christian Academy; Oct. 18 vs. Pinecrest Academy; Oct. 26 vs. Athens Academy; Nov. 1 at Athens Christian; Nov. 8 at Prince Avenue Christian

Outlook: George Walton Academy is 27-9 with three consecutive playoff appearances since joining the Georgia High School Association three years ago, establishing it as one of the top Class A programs. But while tradition never graduates, good players do, and so the Bulldogs will have to find a way to grow up quick, competing in Region 8. However, having players like Stanley Williams, Nick Waters and Patrick Stewart should be plenty good enough for another trip to the post season.

41 comments Add your comment

money in the bank

April 12th, 2013
2:43 pm

Can we please get a preview of Warner Robins.

GAHSFBFAN24

April 12th, 2013
4:41 pm

“Boom” Williams is no doubt a special running back. He had a great first half against ELCA. In the second half, the GWA offensive line was tired and ELCA made adjustments that limited his effectiveness. I will be interested to watch him his senior year when he will be counted on to carry the offense more.

S. Thomas Coleman

April 12th, 2013
6:35 pm

GHSFBFAN24: GWA fans will get loads of highlights this season from Mr. Williams, or Boom, if you prefer.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

April 12th, 2013
6:58 pm

@money: Fear not. The Devils are on the schedule. Stay tuned!

S. Thomas Coleman

Ed Pilcher

April 13th, 2013
12:10 am

Oh yeah? What about Thomas Co. Central? Are they on the schedule, or is that too far South for you guys?

S. Thomas Coleman

April 13th, 2013
8:31 am

@Ed: Thanks for checking in, “coach.” I’ll check the sked and let you know later today. Stay tuned!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

April 13th, 2013
6:54 pm

@Ed: Fear not “coach,” TCC is on the list! The final installment will be May 31. We’ll have one preview each weekday until then. So stay tuned! Thanks for reading and posting.

STC

Booom Dog Gone

April 13th, 2013
9:05 pm

Admired watching Boom and his boys lose to the Spartans of Athens Academy this past season….
interestingly the article didn’t mention Boom’s dismissal from Apalachee or UGA’s withdrawal of their
offer… not disparaging the kid, just stating facts.

black123456789

April 13th, 2013
11:23 pm

Where’s Monroe and why GWA. They are a smaller ‘version of buford

S. Thomas Coleman

April 14th, 2013
2:08 pm

@Boom Dog Gone: You are definitely disparaging the kid and it’s completely disingenuous for you to state otherwise. This piece is about GWA and their prospects for the upcoming season as spring practice begins for most teams. It was not meant to be a look into the past of Stanley Williams.

Thanks for reading and posting.

STC

S. Thomas Coleman

April 14th, 2013
2:13 pm

@black123456789: Monroe is in Walton County and GWA made the 50-in-50 cut based on their appearance in the state semi finals and performance against Eagle’s Landing Christian, as well as the fact that they will feature a heavily recruited player in Williams.

Thanks for reading and posting.

STC

FootballTopFan(c)

April 14th, 2013
3:59 pm

FootballTopFan(c) would like to CONGRATULATE George Walton Academy Bulldogs and Head Coach Don Williams on a good season last year.

The GWA team reached the semi-finals in Class A and hope to continue their playoff streak alive.

The GWA Bulldogs are one of the top teams in Class A private schools.

We wish you good luck and success this season.

Football Top Fan loves high school football.

Black123456789

April 14th, 2013
8:34 pm

I was saying where Monroe in the 50 coverage!

S. Thomas Coleman

April 15th, 2013
6:20 am

@black123456789: Oooohhhh! My bad. The ‘Canes are on the list. Look for their preview soon. Stay tuned! Thanks for reading and posting!

STC

Chee Man

April 15th, 2013
7:20 am

@boom dog gone….clearly you are a bitter spoiled Acad preppie who makes up your own “facts”…as Williams was not dismissed from Apalachee but rather left on his own accord and he also currently still has a UGA offer, so…not sure where you get your info, I’m guessing from the fantasy in your own mind. @black123456789…and you, a long suffering Monroe Area fan who has always been bitter about the GWA success over the years and how hard Monroe has had it. Well, enjoy while you can, Monroe will return to normal after this season…why else would your coach Fligg be stepping down at the end of this coming season? Well, clearly it was a talented group of boys coming through Monroe at one time and nothing more. So don’t be jealous, GWA has always been there, Monroe is just there for a minute.

black123456789

April 15th, 2013
7:36 am

Chee man or whoever. I am not a fan of Monroe, but I was asking why GWA and not Monroe, L-ville, or WG. So please don’t brag about GWA. Because if you look at your track record where do you get your athletes.I was nice and should of said where do you STEAL your athletes? Boys and Girls!!! Quiet and I sat on GWA sideline and plenty of your fans were criticial of your program. I could careless about the coaching at Monroe because they will always beat GWA regardless of who coaching.

S. Thomas Coleman

April 15th, 2013
8:52 am

@Chee Man and @black123456789: Settle down, gentlemen (I guess one or both of you could be a lady). It’s only APRIL!! But hey, I appreciate the passion! And I appreciate you, Chee Man, putting “Boom Dog Gone” in his’/her place.

Thanks to both of you for reading and posting. Keep ‘em coming!

STC

black123456789

April 15th, 2013
9:36 am

Im cool S, but he or she called me out. So I had to tell the truth!! Im from Walton so I think I know what I am talking about.I talk about the school and not the kids, but I am not going say GWA and how the influence students. Jealous, wow!!! I remember GWA was the real GWA and people down here know what I am talking about. If he or she can’t take it, don’t start. But I like you S. T. so I am going to respect you!!!

S. Thomas Coleman

April 15th, 2013
12:20 pm

@black123456789: I was really half-way joking when I said “settle down” to you and Chee Man.

Actually, like I said, I love the passion and as long as the tit-for-tat doesn’t devolve too much into name-calling, classless insults and unsubstantiated rumors about kids and coaches, I’m cool with a good back-and-forth argument among posters. The service is here to provide you guys (and gals) with a means to vent and voice your opinions. So please, have at it!

Thanks again for reading and posting, and be on the lookout for the preview on the ‘Canes.

STC

Chee man

April 15th, 2013
12:54 pm

The problem @black123456789 is that you are not telling the truth. GWA is a PRIVATE school. They are getting their players from the same places they have gotten them from for over 40 years! And I’m npt sure what you are talking about Monroe beating GWA in anything….they have rarely played each other. I did go to the Walton County Track Championships a few weeks ago where I saw a GWA athlete dust the Monroe boys and anybody else that tried in the 100M. As for history, GWA has always had a fantastic program. I’m pretty sure they have NEVER had a losing season in football. Losing seasons at Monroe have been the norm. After this group is gone and Monroe has a new coach next year it will be back to normal there too. Loganville and Walnut Grove aren’t covered because they are a couple of the worst programs around. They will be lucky to get coverage in the Walton Tribune much less the AJC. Tell the truth man, you will feel better!

black123456789

April 15th, 2013
1:22 pm

Ok the the truth. GWA you want it. GWA offered all athletes from Monroe, L-ville, and WG free tutition so they can compete. GWA win in small ball. Not that hard to beat up on Class A when you outnumber them or other private schools. You cant talk about L-ville or WG, at least they are winning the right way. If you put those kids that GWA stole back in there schools then come on you got same old GWA. LCA is better program. So we are talking sports!!! You got to play big boys and see. Monroe boys beat GWA in bball. So bragging!!!

black123456789

April 15th, 2013
1:24 pm

That was my last comment!!! Play a tougher schedule or any of Lville, Mon, or WG and see what happens. Lville- top baseball player, Monroe- top fball player……Look at overall program!!!!

Chee man

April 15th, 2013
1:31 pm

LMAO! I guess they didn’t teach grammar or writing at the school you attended. You have no clue clearly. GWA has players now from the same places they have always had players from. Nothing has changed there. GWA’s record for it’s sports teams is about what it always has been, excellent. It’s a private school dude, they don’t have a school zone. And thanks for the laugh on the offering of all the players at Monroe LHS and WG….uhhh yeah right. GWA has a schollarship program that many private school have…always has. VERY FEW players on last years team were benefitting from it. If they offered the kids you are talking about, GWA would have 300 players. Who would want to play for WG? They are winning the right way?????? Really? 1-9 is what you call winning??? LOL man…come on…

Chee man

April 15th, 2013
1:32 pm

And what is bball??? Basketball? Baseball? Monroe surely has nobody as fast as GWA…that’s been proven.

Chee man

April 15th, 2013
1:34 pm

You are a funny dude blackie. Delusional, but funny. GWA plays in the classification they are supposed to. If they played WG it would have been 50-0 so come on man….it’s only 2:30…dont be drinking! No doubt they have a player Monroe only wishes they had. Monroe is headed back to more 0-20 stretches very soon….enjoy

black123456789

April 15th, 2013
2:31 pm

wow blackie, I dont drink the juice and this is a blog man. Only jv tennis players look for mistakes. But you bragging and monroe AAAA. You are full of something!!! Monroe will be good next few years in football. So they are playing great schools. But what happened when yall played Wilcox. Come on man, dont brag on those private school chips!!! Step up or be quiet!!!! The Big 3 in Walton are good programs. But not bashing GWA anymore. Just you!!! My playing days are over, but I like how you disrespect the big 3. Guess if you didnt read the article, if it wasn’t for Williams, you wouldn’t be relevant!!! Ouch!!!!

Chee man

April 15th, 2013
2:53 pm

I thought you had made your last post???/ LOL @ you because what you write is just so hard to read. Chips? What is that? Get something straight dude, I am not from GWA or have anything to do with them. I live in Barrow county…always have. And you calling Walnut grove a “big three” in anyway kind of proves a lot about you man. LOL…really, I am laughing out loud! Enjoy monroe football this season…it’s over after this year. Back to nornal…0-20

nourstuff

April 15th, 2013
9:14 pm

STC, why isn’t this GWA 50 in 50 part of the list with the other articles on the high school page 50 in 50 series?

S. Thomas Coleman

April 15th, 2013
10:05 pm

@nourstuff: I wish I knew. All I do is post and other folks workout the placement. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I’ll check on it. Thanks for reading and posting.

STC

ghsafan

April 16th, 2013
2:16 pm

@Chee Man while @Booom Dog Gone might have been wrong about Stanley getting out of Apalachee, he definitely wasn’t wrong about how Stanley “Boom” Williams was not good enough to beat Athens Academy. He must be a really great running back if he can’t beat a team with no one over 230 pounds on the defense. The fact that George Walton has yet to win even a region championship with all there supposed great talent is pathetic, either their coach is horrible or there players, including “Boom”, are not that great. Maybe he should win something before giving himself a dumb nickname. The fact that George Walton’s program is on this list is pathetic. Not only have they never won a region championship, but their record against Athens Academy, a much better program, is 1-2.

S. Thomas Coleman

April 16th, 2013
7:41 pm

@ghsafan: GWA was selected (and I admit that I didn’t make the final call and was only briefly consulted on the list of teams) most likely due to its strong showing against ELCA in the semi finals, an ELCA team that was dominant from start to finish. So I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment that including the Bulldogs on the list was “a joke.”

STC

S. Thomas Coleman

April 17th, 2013
7:37 am

@nourstuff: As you can see, there is a GWA icon in the 50-in-50 section on the high school page. Hope that helps.

STC

nourstuff

April 17th, 2013
9:03 am

Thanks for the fix STC-curious to know what other region 8A teams might be covered in this series?

S. Thomas Coleman

April 17th, 2013
12:12 pm

@nourstuff: I’ll check on it and let you know. I’m pretty sure Prince Ave is on the list, but that might be it. I’ll confirm later.

STC

S. Thomas Coleman

April 17th, 2013
6:00 pm

@nourstuff: PAC is the only other Region 8 team on the list.

STC

Paladin Death Dealer

April 18th, 2013
5:22 am

All state titles should have an asterisk beside them because we are now playing in the era of big time recruiting and cheating. Goal scholarship money, guys playing driving 50-60 miles one way to play at a school they don’t even live close to. Started with basketball and the AAU stuff and now runs rampant through all GHSA sports. Hope the GHSA can get a grip on this recruiting so that the asterisks can be taken away. High school sports have become certain teams recruiting and putting together All Star teams each year. It is hard with the recruiting to tell who are the best coaches now, because there are 175 Head Football Coaches in the state who could win at the Sandy Creeks and Buford’s of the world. City schools and private schools have a great advantage with the GHSA because the players don’t have to live in their attendance zones. Until all the public schools who have attendance zones get together and shout loud enough about this recruiting this will continue. Think that time is near. Getting beat is one thing but losing to people who are playing by a different set of rules gets old.

S. Thomas Coleman

April 18th, 2013
8:19 am

@Paladin: If you or anyone has real proof of a school “recruiting” a player, send it to the GHSA. They would be glad to look into it. However, there is nothing wrong with a family choosing to move into a school zone for sports or academic reasons. If your child is a gifted musician and your zoned high school has gutted its music program, you shouldn’t be punished for seeking a school that is devoted to providing its students with a quality music department. The same goes for sports.

Thanks for reading and posting.

STC

Region 8 fan

April 18th, 2013
2:09 pm

Is there any reason why AA won’t be covered in this 50 list and Prince/GWA is when AA beat both of them last year and have won around 7 region championships this millennium?

BBB

April 18th, 2013
3:57 pm

@Chee man, seems like almost everything you are saying about Monroe is hearsay. Willaims did beat the RB in the 100m race, but not by much. As far as Williams leaving your school, I heard from a teacher from Chee that he was on the verge of failing every class and being eligible to play his junior season. Also, doesn’t seem kind of fishy that in one year as to where several players just happen to transfer to GWA from Barrow County schools and as far as GWA recruiting players, it has happened for years, I heard it myself from a local restaurant in Monroe, as 2 big time boosters from GWA was toa player to come to there school to play football and they also tried to recruit my son the summer before his freshman year, he said no and just laughed at them.As afr as Monroe returning back to their 0-20 ways, I doubt that will happen, playing in their correct class and a past freshman class that went undefeated blowing everyone away and I think one of the games was against Apalachee. If Fligg leaves, it will be for personal reasons, but you already know that since YOU know everything, so CHEE there you go.

Black123456789

April 18th, 2013
8:27 pm

Where is chee? Guess other people want to hear from you!

AthensFB

April 19th, 2013
2:27 pm

It is dissappointing to see that out of Region 8 Athens Academy was overlooked for GWA and Prince . AA has a tradition winning 7 regions championships the past 12 years with less talent then GWA and Prince as of late. GWA has been an unachiever since joining the GHSA with some of the best talent of the any single A school. All three schools lose alot next year and I believe that Stanley Williams at GWA and Coach Heron going to Prince were the reason to pick those two schools over AA and the tradition Coach Gunn has built the last 20 years. Next year GWA will be the favorite to win Region 8A again but I will be surprised if they do, there will be some surprises and a lot of recruiting by a number of schools, I know of at least 3 schools who have had parents or school personel visit homes of players to discuss opportunites at specific private schools but thats just the name of the game these days, so you deal with it and move on