For the second straight season, the Malone boys basketball team went undefeated in Jackson County- that's 14 straight wins over county rivals. The Tigers are led by a core group of seniors, including Austin Williams, who may not be the most vocal guy on the court, but when it comes to getting things done, the Senior guard is second to none.
"He lets his actions speak for themselves," says head coach Steven Welch. "When he says something, people listen, because he doesn't say much. When he does talk his teammates respect what he has to say. He does a very good job leading us on the court."
That hard working attitude has helped lead the Tigers to a 22-2 overall record so far this season- 10-0 in district play.
"I just want to do everything to help my team out, so we get to our goals," says Austin. "Our ultimate goal is to win a championship. Our team goal is when we graduate to make each other better people."
"Austin is kind of the heart and soul of not only this team, but kind of the program," says Coach Welch. "He's one of those kids where you wouldn't mind it if your kid turned out like him."
Many parents sure would like Austin's grades too- as he carries a 3.94 weighted GPA.
"I was always told if you don't make good grades, you can't play ball- and I have to play ball, so I had to make the good grades," says Austin.
"Sometimes they pick on him," says Coach Welch. "Smart guy, you got all these good grads, making us look bad. But he doesn't let that hold him back. He helps them when they need it- when they're not too proud to ask."
The team sure isn't proud to ask for Austin's help on the court- as he contributes 10 points, and nearly 4 assis ts and 4 steals per game.
"He works hard in practice, and every game he give you everything he's got," says Coach Welch. "The rest of his teammates play off of that. He plays so hard and expects so much out of himself, that they're able to push themselves a little harder too."
"I'm working hard because I don't want it to end," says Austin. "We have to keep playing, and work harder so we can keep going farther and farther."
Keep going, into districts, Regionals- and with that second to none work ethic- hopefully, all the way to State. Austin says he isn't sure of his college plans yet- but says he wants to study sport management.