West St. John’s Williams, Jones honored

Published 11:45 pm Wednesday, July 4, 2012



EDGARD — Two of West St. John’s top student-athletes were honored before their peers recently, as seniors Lawrence Williams and Jennika Jones received the school’s prestigious Anthony Miller Award at the Rams’ recent athletic awards banquet.

The Miller award annually honors a male and female athlete from the school who excels in athletics and academics while displaying strong character and citizenship through their tenure at the school.

Williams finished his career as a standout in four sports: football, baseball, basketball and track and field.

On the football field, Williams followed in the footsteps of many Ram standouts, playing at a high level on both sides of the ball as a wide receiver and a defensive back. One of the team’s top senior leaders, he helped West St. John to a stellar season. The Rams finished 12-2, won the District 9-1A championship and went on a thrilling playoff run to the Superdome for the state championship game, finishing as Class 1A state runner-up. Williams caught a 28-yard touchdown pass in that game.

On the basketball court, Williams was the team’s designated defensive stopper, asked to defend the opposition’s toughest perimeter scorer on most nights.

In baseball, he helped key a turnaround that lifted the Rams to a winning season and back to the playoffs. Finally, in track and field, Williams excelled in the javelin, finishing second in the Rams’ regional and sixth in the 2012 Class 1A state meet.

“He’s a kid who did all you ever asked,” said West St. John athletic director Robert Valdez. “He’s so versatile, and was a major asset to our school. To play and perform so well in four sports while doing as well as he did academically, it says a lot about an individual.”

Jones, meanwhile, earned her athletic stripes in track and field, softball and volleyball.

As a track and field star, she made big waves in the javelin event for her team, placing third in the Rams’ regional and moving on to compete at the state championship meet.

As a junior, she finished as All-District honorable mention in volleyball, and as a senior helped the Rams create a major turnaround, winning nine games in 2011 after winning just two in 2010.

While a strong multi-sport athlete, Jones was even more impressive as a student, placing in the top five of the 2012 senior class.

“Jennika is just one of those girly-girls,” said Valdez with a laugh. “She’s always going to present herself at her best, and she’s conscientious about that. She’s always working to get better at whatever she participates in.

“Just as importantly, she’s willing to lead. She’s very, very accessible to help others.”

Valdez said that Jones set a strong example for her class and the younger students in the school.

“She was a tremendous student. She stuck with it all and excelled,” he said.