• September 20, 2014

Heights wrestler Williams signs with North Dakota State

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Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014 4:30 am

There haven’t been many Killeen ISD male wrestlers to sign with Division I schools — none, in fact, since Derrick Williams II entered high school.

But Killeen ISD wrestlers won’t be able to say that now.

Williams, a Harker Heights senior, signed his letter of intent to wrestle at North Dakota State at a well-attended ceremony Thursday at Harker Heights High School.

“I haven’t ever heard of anyone signing Division I for wrestling in KISD,” Williams said. “It’s very exciting for me to wrestle at a Division I school.”

Williams, who earned his second straight trip to regionals this past season, is the first male wrestler to sign with a Division-I school since Ellison’s Joe Sheffield signed with the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in 2004.

And as important as Williams has been to Heights in his four-year career, on Thursday, he became even more important.

“It just solidifies our program,” Heights head coach Robert Hagey said.

“We’ve gotten better and better each year.

“We had our first male wrestler get a scholarship two years ago and to have this ... it just keeps getting better.”

Williams said North Dakota State first contacted him this past fall, and after he was accepted into the school, he took his first visit earlier this month.

Williams was sold immediately.

“I love the school, love the wrestling team,” Williams said. “I thought it was the perfect fit.”

North Dakota State ended last season at No. 22 in the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Coaches poll.

And Hagey said he believes the Bison are getting a raw wrestler who is full of potential in the 5-foot-10, 145 pound Williams.

If Williams can do for the Bison what he did for the Knights, then he ought to do just fine.

“Being in Texas and a big football state, not a lot of people know about North Dakota State, but they’re one of the premier wrestling programs in the country,” Hagey said. “And to have a wrestler from Killeen, from Harker Heights, do that, that’s pretty big, so we’re excited about that.”

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