A gold medal-winning track runner keeps turning heads on the football field.

Through six games this year, Shoemaker senior cornerback Dwayne Williams has a District 8-5A-leading seven interceptions — including one for a touchdown — as well as a punt return touchdown, a blocked kick and two forced fumbles. He has four more picks than the district runner-up Copperas Cove senior defensive back Bashshar Saunders.

Williams has played football since his freshman year, and colleges are showing interest.

Rice University and Navarro College offered scholarships, and the University of Texas at San Antonio and Colorado State reached out, Shoemaker coach

Channon Hall said.

Williams fits the classic definition of a student-athlete, and never breaks his smile.

“He probably smiles too much for me sometimes,” Hall said. “But he’s just a great kid, smiles every day, loves the game, wants to be on the field all the time offensively and defensively. ... He’s just a playmaker for us, and just great attitude every day. So that’s what you want. Great kid.”

In a group with Quasan Hill, Taron Lloyd and Johnny Jefferson, Williams won gold in the Texas Relays 800-meter relay May 11.

While his track skills translate well to football, Williams wasn’t satisfied with coasting this year. So he consistently ran, weight lifted five days a week this offseason, and let his prized fast food sit at the restaurant.

“I just knew that I had to be bigger, stronger, faster in order to help the team win some games,” he said. And he has.

Williams blocked a Killeen field goal attempt last Friday, and returned it 33 yards to put his team in Roo territory.

Williams’ best game came at Round Rock Stony Point, where he snagged both of his team’s interceptions — one of which sealed a 42-38 win in the game’s closing seconds.

“He’s just a ball hawk,” Hall said. “We feel like if they throw it his way, we’ve got a good chance of getting the ball back or something good happening. So that’s a plus for our defense automatically, just because of what he does. And it started two years ago, at 7-on-7. We looked up, and every deep ball thrown his way, he picked it off. And that’s when it started, like, ‘Hold on, what’s going on here?’ But it wasn’t a fluke.”

Williams relishes a challenge.

“It’s exciting to (play against) a team that passes a lot, because I know me and the three other DB’s on the field, I know we can get the job done and get some interceptions,” he said.

Williams called his teammates a family, and said practice felt like home.

“It’s very comfortable here,” he said. “I love everybody on this team. I love these guys.”

Hall described Williams as a quiet, consistent leader.

“He leads by example,” Hall said. “He’s more reserved until the (Friday night) lights come on.”

Contact Brian Bradley at bbradley@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7567

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