It was quite a day for speeches

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Straford senior O’Showen Williams was all smiles while giving his speech. The two-sport standout signed a basketball scholarship with South Georgia State on Wednesday. (Photo by NICK DOROGY, Gazebo Staff)

By NICK DOROGY, Gazebo Sports Writer

O’Showen Williams may not be a big fan of giving speeches, but he gave two heartfelt ones on Wednesday.

The first was a “This I Believe” speech, required of all seniors in Mrs. Lindsey Stevens’ senior English classes. Williams gave his during an extended sixth period Wednesday morning.

The second came an hour later, in front of his family, friends, teachers, coaches and teammates in The Grady.  He signed a scholarship to play basketball at South Georgia State College in Waycross.

Williams, a two-sport star for the Eagles, will concentrate on academics and athletics next year, with hopes of later transferring to a Division I college program.

“I’m really excited to be committed to South Georgia State College,” Williams said. “I am going to go for one or two years and then transfer to a Division I school. Right now, Stetson has an offer.”

Williams, along with senior classmates Quintez Cephus and James Mitchell, have been breaking Stratford records throughout their high school careers. Cepheus signed a football scholarship with Wisconsin. Mitchell will play college basketball at Covenant College.

Williams is only the second Stratford athlete in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in football and score more than 1,000 points in basketball. The other was Joey Cranford, who graduated in 1994.

Williams rushed for 2,557 career yards, with 1,446 of those yards coming from his senior year.

Williams also excelled at basketball, scoring 1,009 points, averaging 15.7 points per game in 2016.

“O’Showen doesn’t have an easy story, but he’s made his own way and he can do big things,” said Coach Jamie Dickey.

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Laura Bennett Dickey, the 3-year-old daughter of head basketball coach Jamie Dickey, runs to her daddy during the signing ceremony. (Photo by NICK DOROGY, Gazebo Staff)