Jesse Williams is helping to put Bronson football on the map.
In 69 years of playing football, the Eagles had never won a playoff game or hosted one. They did both in 2020.
It was the first time that Bronson had made the playoffs since 2002.
“When Jesse started playing football last year, it really took our team to a different level,” said Bronson head coach Russell Holley.
Williams, who is first in his senior class with a 4.48 GPA, led Bronson with 17 catches for 330 yards and three touchdowns, including a long of 64 yards. He averaged 19.4 yards per catch and is expected to have an even bigger role this year.
“Last year we were more of a running team, but this year we are going to pass the ball a lot more,” Holley said.
Williams worked out for the Blue-Grey All-Star combine in Tampa and was selected for the game this past January.
“That’s pretty huge for somebody from Bronson to go,” Holley said. “Jesse also went to South Carolina’s camp and nobody could guard him.”
Holley used one word to describe his star wide receiver, who will also play free safety.
“He is a freak,” Holley said. “He can run, jump, and he has grasped the game in such a short time. When he runs a route, he is virtually unguardable.”
He has a 4.59 in the 40, a pro shuttle of 4.33, and a standing broad jump of 9 feet, 6 inches.
For this to be a successful season on the gridiron, Williams said there are a few things that have to happen: “We’ve got to stay committed in the weight room, everybody has to come together as a team, and we have to work together.”
The Eagles will open the season on Friday, Aug. 27, on the road against Class 4A Tenoroc (Lakeland).
“Tenoroc has become more of a rivalry game,” Williams said. “We beat them last year, but the year before we lost to them.”
He currently has interest from Duke and Ivy League schools.
Williams will also play basketball this season for the Eagles. Last year he was a second team All Area selection after averaging 13.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. He had a 34-point game at Oak Hall School and a 17-rebound game against Belleview.
Williams, who noted that last year’s basketball district tournament was his most favorite high school sports moment so far, said the thing he is looking forward to most his senior year is winning the district in basketball.
He also said he wants “to set a foundation for winning and have a work ethic on the field and in the classroom for the underclassmen.”