AIA365.com

Don Ketchum
Former Staff Writer, AIA365.com

Williams is leader for Boulder Creek boys volleyball team

The voice on the other end of the phone had a raspiness to it, at times at a whisper.

Cody Williams admitted he wasn’t feeling the greatest, but he offered assurance that he would survive.

Williams, a 6-foot-3 senior, is one of the top volleyball players in the state for Anthem Boulder Creek, and half of him is probably better than many others playing at full speed.

The outside hitter has been playing the sport since the seventh grade, with club and school teams, and the coaching staff at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix has followed him along the way. He was offered a scholarship to play there and is looking forward to the challenge.

“It has been a lot of fun to watch him and his teammates improve,’’ said Boulder Creek coach Troy Dueling. “This season, his level of focus has been second to none. He really has matured as a person and a volleyball player.’’

Williams and his teammates were looking forward to playing in a tournament in San Diego this coming week, when the school has its spring break. There are 50 teams in the tournament, Williams said, and Boulder Creek finished second in a tournament in Las Vegas last season.

Boulder Creek has been hot and cold to start the season. The Jaguars were 4-4 after a win over Glendale Mountain Ridge. In the match before that one, Boulder Creek fell to Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor and that, Williams said, “gave us a reality check.’’ Boulder Creek also defeated defending Division I champion Gilbert Highland earlier this season.

Despite his voice, Williams said he is a vocal leader on the court.

“An example of leadership is not getting down on myself or allowing the same thing with my teammates, try to be encouraging,’’ he said.

Volleyball is a year-round endeavor, which does not leave any time open for Williams to play other sports such as basketball.

“There is a big time commitment,’’ he said. “You really only have one month where you’re not doing anything, from July to August. From August to January, it’s club team and from February to May it’s the school team.’’

The sport is enjoyable, he said, “because it brings everyone together. There’s one ball and six people – it’s a team sport. You can’t just do it yourself.’’

Following through on a kill against an opponent is a great feeling, he said.

Williams is taking some advanced placement classes and hopes to study pre-med at Grand Canyon. He originally had thought about going to college in California and study marine biology, but decided that Grand Canyon was a better fit.