YORK – Tabb High senior Andrew Williams, the most decorated Bay Rivers District wrestler this decade, said on Monday that he will wrestle in college for the University of Virginia. Williams said that he committed to Virginia about a week after his Oct. 25 visit, and that he’ll sign with the Cavaliers later this week.
Williams has compiled a 158-15 record at Tabb, winning Group AA state wrestling titles at 103, 119 and 130 pounds. He will attempt this winter to join Poquoson’s Charles Backus (1971-74) and Mike Akers (1996-99) as the only wrestlers from Bay Rivers District schools ever to win four state titles.
“Deciding now takes a tremendous burden off of me,” Williams said of his quest for a fourth state gold medal. “I felt like I would be performing this year to get into a good college.
“Now I can concentrate on wrestling, knowing that I’ll get a topflight education at one of the top colleges in the United States.”
Williams said that Virginia offers the equivalent of only two full wrestling scholarships, so virtually all of his room and board will be paid for by an academic scholarship and loan package the school offered. Williams, who ranks 33rd in the Tabb senior class with a 3.87 average, said that wrestling coach Steve Garland’s commitment to academics was the primary reason he picked Virginia.
“He meets once a week with our academic advisor,” said Williams, who leans toward majoring in Pre-Med. “He sets up (academic) tasks for us to finish each week before we wrestle.
“He told me the wrestling team ranks second in the athletic department in overall grade point average. The facility where we study is amazing.”
Tabb coach Doug Roper said that Williams’ emphasis on academics should serve him well in Charlottesville.
“Any kid who competes in college is a good wrestler,” he said. “The ones who excel, balance academics and wrestling. Andrew has the background to do both.”
Williams’ season begins when he wrestles on Dec. 5-6 in the Walsh Ironman near Cleveland, Ohio. The Ironman is considered one of the nation’s top two wrestling tournaments.