Moorefield’s Sloan Williams and East Hardy’s Ricky Robinson were given special recognition by WHSV News of Harrisonburg, Va. for student athletes of the week and community service honors.
Williams Awarded Leroy Wilkinson Community Scholarship Award
Moorefield’s Sloan Williams earned the first-ever Leroy Wilkinson Community Scholarship award. It’s the first year the honor was given and is dedicated to the late Mountain Valley Burger King owner who passed away last year.
“It’s truly an honor to receive, being thing first one and representing what Leroy represented with his community service,” Williams said.
“It’s kind presenting me for giving back to my community. I’ll take it to my school and show it, and show what they can strive to do.”
Moorefield’s Sloan Williams: WHSV Student Athlete of the Week, April 27
Championships can often be everything for high school athletes, especially for seniors.
For Moorefield’s Sloan Williams, there is no guarantee he’ll win an athletic title but the student athlete of the week is already a champion.
“It wouldn’t just be for me, it’d be for my community,” said Williams. “Everyone around here loves football and baseball. The last 30 years we’ve been good. We’ve been down, but we’re getting better. I think it’s just something our school needs and our community needs.”
[private] Baseball season gives Sloan Williams one final chance to win a coveted state title. Thirteen varsity letters, but no rings inspires him to work even harder.
“Before the school year, he dedicated himself to being in top physical shape and that’s really benefited him in all three sports he’s played this year,” added Moorefield baseball.
“They push me hard every day, they’re working hard every day,” said Williams.”The underclassman, they’re unbelievable. They want to be there. They’re excited and it’s just fun to be around.”
While Sloan hasn’t won a championship in football, basketball, baseball or golf, he isn’t without a state title.
In April, Sloan was apart of five-man team won the West Virginia Envirothon.
The competition tests students on topics like soils and forestry. As champions, the team members each earned a thousand dollars in scholarships.
“We knew we had a good chance, because this was our third year competing,” he said. “It just comes down to that day, and how well you do.”
“Bringing home a state championship in an academic competition is something students can always be proud of,” said Jackie See, Sloan’s National Honor Society adviser. “It’s something nobody can ever take away from them and it shows that Moorefield high has some of the best and brightest students in the state.”
East Hardy’s Ricky Robinson: WHSV Student Athlete of the Week, May 11
There are moments that shape every great athlete. But for Ricky Robinson, it was less a moment and more of a growth spurt that turned number 11 into number 59.
“His junior year he was growing a bit. We still wanted to use him some at receiver, so we started incorporating him at tight end,” East Hardy head coach Chad Williams said. “The starting tackle goes down a week before the first game. He volunteered and made the move to tackle. He became a linemen, a pretty dang good one at that.”
While hindsight may be 20/20, the move wasn’t always popular.
“At the time it didn’t seem what was right, but looking back on the journey it was the right move,” Robinson said.
But Williams correctly predicted that changing positions was the best thing for Robinson.
Williams added: “Obviously nobody likes that off the bat, but I said you just watch Ricky, this is where you’re career is. So I’ll always remember Ricky for that and Ricky will be the first to tell you that we got it right there, and I’m glad we did.”
The move paid off. His growth as a blocker and defensive end was crucial as the Cougars chased state titles the last two seasons.
“The first year we got beat 62-0. That drove me the whole next year to work hard,” Robinson said.
The East Hardy senior points to one specific player he faced in his first state championship game who ended up being a motivating factor.
“Kyle Ritz, who was probably the best player in the state destroyed me. And I told myself all summer in the weight room that I was never going to let anybody dominate me like that,” Robinson said. “I was going to be the dominate force.”
Ritz is now a lineman from the Akron Zips. But he inspired Robinson to be bigger, better, faster and stronger.
Today, he stands at six-foot-four inches tall and more than 250 pounds. Next season, he’ll play at Division II powerhouse Shepherd University, where his dreams of professional ball stay alive.
“Shepherd has a few players in the National Football League and wide receiver Billy Brown and defensive back Tre Sullivan are probably going this year,” Robinson said. “At the end of the day I’m shooting for the stars and this is a small town and they can say what they want, but that is the ultimate goal.”