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SHEPHERDSVILLE - Family is important to Bullitt Central senior Shane Williamson.
That is why on the Friday before spring break, Williamson opted to sign the official papers to play football at Campbellsville University next season in a hospital at the bedside of his great grandfather - F.G. Jones.
“I just want to thank my family for being behind me and pushing me,” the 17-year old son of Pam and Joey Williamson said before the more formal ceremony in the Bullitt Central library last week.
It was the importance of family that led Williamson to stay relatively close to home to attend college. He also had some discussions with Pikeville, Lindsey Wilson and Union colleges, but decided on the one closest to home.
“I was really looking at going out of state,” Williamson said of his first thoughts about college. “Then I realized my family wanted me to be close to home. It was nice there so I chose Campbellsville.
“Ever since I saw the campus I was thinking Campbellsville,” the senior added. “It’s very nice. They were also the first to send me an offer. I also want to do physical therapy and Campbellsville and can let me do that.”
Williamson will join a Campbellsville program that improved greatly under head coach Perry Thomas. He posted a 3-8 record in 2008, but then went 7-4 a year ago including a 4-2 mark in the Mid-South Conference. The team is part of the NAIA.
“The head coach is a lot like coach (Danny) Leasor,” Williamson said. “He was pretty cool and to the point. He won’t let us mess around.”
Williamson only played his last two seasons of football at Bullitt Central, but became a key in the middle of the defense quickly. He grew up playing in the Fern Creek Youth League but then played in the Cedar Grove program when his family moved to Bullitt County. Then, as an eighth-grader he began to play for Beth Haven. As a sophomore he was All-District, but then transferred to Bullitt Central where he earned All-District and All-County honors each of the past two seasons.
“Often times transfers don’t work out,” Leasor said of his linebacker. “But we were fortunate to get him.
“He’s a super kid,” the Bullitt Central coach said. “It’s not just football. He was one of our real team leaders.”
During his junior season, Williamson played along the defensive line. Before his senior year, he was moved to linebacker. Perhaps just as important for his college future, he handled the long snaps on punts, field goals and extra points.
“I think he might be a linebacker, but they might want to use him as an offensive guard,” Leasor noted. “His ace in the hole is as the long snapper.
“What Shane does is make plays,” the coach added. “He is football smart.”
Williamson has worked as hard on his grades as well as his skills on the football field.
“My sophomore year I didn’t really do that,” Williamson said of working hard with his books. “I just wanted to play football.
“I sat down with my parents and they said my grades had to be a part of it,” the added. “I knew I had to step up in school. That next year I stepped up. Then I was accepted to Campbellsvile.”