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Dominant force

Silver Creek’s Williams preparing for move to Premier Lacrosse League

OBSERVER File Photo Zed Williams, who set a national high school lacrosse record while at Silver Creek with 729 points and 444 goals, was traded from the Georgia Swarm to the Colorado Mammoth in the National Lacrosse League and is preparing for his new career in the Premier Lacrosse League.

For most people in life a common goal is to be one of the best at what you do, whether it’s in academics, athletics or a specific line of work the goal is to be the best.

Anyone could tell you being the best is not easy, otherwise it would not be very special to be considered amongst the best. However, for some individuals, being great is their destiny. That is true for Silver Creek High School alum Zed Williams.

Williams, a recent acquisition by the National Lacrosse League’s Colorado Mammoth, formerly the fourth pick in the 2017 NLL Draft and current member of the Whipsnakes in the Premier Lacrosse League is clearly competing at the top of his field.

While it might be crazy to think that someone from Silver Creek could make it all the way to the pros, anyone who was able to watch Williams compete in not just lacrosse, but football and basketball too, could tell he was cut from a different cloth and was destined for greatness.

Before Williams was even in high school as just an eighth-grader, he started grabbing attention with his long list of accomplishments. While still in middle school, Williams took the lacrosse field by storm, scoring a total of 102 points via 74 goals and 28 assists. Many seniors would dream of having a season like that statistically and Williams had not even entered high school. But if you ask Williams about his early years in high school, he is not one to take all the credit and he attributes much of his success to his older brother, Zach Williams.

Submitted Photo Zed Williams with his daughter.

“When I was younger my brother Zach was on the team and he did most of the work,” Williams said. “All I had to worry about was scoring the goals.”

In 2010, the Williams brothers were the best duo in the state and quite possibly the nation as they both were No. 1 and No. 2 in New York state scoring. Zach scored 179 points and Zed scored 174.

While that year, Zed’s freshman year, was his best statistical year of his high school lacrosse career, it is not his favorite season.

Williams stated that his favorite season was actually his very first season on varsity.

“My eighth-grade year, we were 11-11, but something clicked and we started building confidence and ended up winning the sectional championship,” Williams said.

Photo courtesy of Georgia Swarm Zed Williams

On top of that success, Williams expressed how he was able to play with Zach that year and two of his older brothers were on the coaching staff. Silver Creek ultimately fell in the Far West Regionals, but it was just the beginning of big games in which Williams would play.

The next four years of Williams’ high school career he took the Black Knights to the Far West Regionals every time, winning five consecutive Section VI Class C titles.

In the 2011 campaign, the Black Knights got over the hump and won the Far West Regionals, beating playoff rival Section V Penn Yan, 15-8. That would be Williams’ only state Final Four appearance as the Black Knights fell in the semifinals to eventual state champion Cazenovia of Section III, 15-13.

While Williams didn’t get the elusive New York state championship, he still had a lot of important lacrosse games ahead of him. When looking back on the games he played and Zed being a professional lacrosse player now, one would think that his favorite high school memory would come on the lacrosse field, but it actually came on the gridiron where Williams’ also excelled.

“My favorite memory from high school, actually came from playing football,” Williams said. “Growing up I wanted to be a football player and getting to play at the Bills stadium was really cool. It was a great feeling to be able to win the sectional championship with my brother that year.”

For Williams all of his best memories revolve around his family, and in a big family with 10 siblings there have been plenty of memories. Of his siblings Dan, Morgan, Alex, Mary, Jon, Joey, Sam, Zach, Cornbread and Sherman — Zed is the second youngest. Many of Zed’s athletic memories in high school feature Zach, Cornbread and Sherman who were close to him in age, graduating in 2011, 2012 and 2016, respectively. Zed’s high school lacrosse statistics, which will stick around forever, tell two stories of playing with his siblings.

In Zed’s early years he relied on his older brothers Zach and Cornbread to do all of the little things that make a lacrosse player a complete and well-rounded player on both sides of the field. When Zach graduated in 2011, Zed’s point total took a dip down to 126, but in the long run it made him a better player overall as he improved in areas such as defense. In Zed’s junior and senior seasons he began playing more of a two-way game instead of focusing on just goals and Sherman his youngest brother was able to be the goal scorer.

“When Zach graduated I had to start focusing on other parts of the game and not just scoring,” Williams said. “It made me a better player in the long run having to work on those parts of my game.”

By the end of his time at Silver Creek, Williams’ had compiled one of the best resume’s in high school lacrosse history. He is the all-time leader in the nation in points (729), the leader in goals (444), top 10 in assists (285), five-time Section VI Class C champion and is a three-time All-American.

Some people take it as an insult to peak in high school. For Williams, it would not have been an insult considering how much he accomplished, but as most great people do he continued to soar above those peaks. After high school, Williams has gone on to play at a storied college lacrosse program the University of Virginia, has played in the NLL for box lacrosse, has played at the highest levels of box lacrosse in Canada, has played field lacrosse in the MLL and will now play in the hottest up and coming sports league the PLL. While most people like to point out all of his accomplishments and the legacy he has built, he gives plenty of credit to those around him who have shaped him on the journey.

“It’s an honor being in the record books,” Williams said. “My dad pushed me to be the best and I take pride in the sense that I accomplished that.”

One thing that is constant is that Williams’ driving force behind his lacrosse career has been his family. Now he has started a family of his own making his lacrosse career ever more important. Williams stated the reasoning behind his move from the Boston Cannons in the MLL to the Whipsnakes of the PLL was the potential future success of the league and how it will help him further provide for his family.

So when Williams suits up on July 25 for the Whipsnakes game against the Redwoods on NBC, we will all know he’s playing for his family and we can proudly say that he’s from Silver Creek.

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