Williams goes out on top

There were so many moments to choose from when Reed Williams thought about his greatest during his stellar senior season with the Corona del Mar High boys' soccer team.

Most would think he would select as his favorite being named the Gatorade California Player of the Year.

However, as trite as it may sound, Williams isn't so much about awards, or even fame. For all his flashy skills on the pitch, he's more of a down-to-earth young man who loves the game.

It's no wonder Williams chose a moment with his teammates as his favorite of the season, and of 2010.

This past year no one seemed to grab more headlines than Williams, the 6-foot-2 speedy forward who was a scoring machine for the heralded Sea Kings.

Williams, who recorded 32 goals and 12 assists and led CdM to unprecedented heights, is the 2010 Daily Pilot Sports Newsmaker of the Year.

Part of that reason came from his greatest moment of the season. The Sea Kings beat JSerra, 3-2, March 11. It was in the CIF Southern California Regional Division II semifinals. But for Williams it meant so much more.

The victory essentially made CdM the best team in Orange County. Before the game, several players from JSerra used Facebook to deliver trash talk to the Sea Kings.

A champion (CdM) from CIF Southern Section Division IV could not handle the Division I kingpin (JSerra), the Lions spewed.

Williams wanted the Sea Kings to silence them.

"I hate JSerra," said Williams, now a freshman at UCLA. "That was a fun team to beat. Those guys didn't think kids from Newport Beach could beat them. We had a very good team."

Williams was also out to prove he was the best player on the field. JSerra junior Juan Gutierrez was named Orange County Player of the Year by a newspaper and Williams took that as a sleight.

"I wanted to prove myself," Williams said after scoring two goals in the victory.

Williams also said he enjoyed helping the CdM boys' soccer team win its first CIF Southern Section Division IV title.

"We had tons of fans there," he said. "Everyone ran out on the field after we won. It was very cool to be a part of."

After CdM took down JSerra, the Sea Kings beat Santa Barbara for the CIF Southern California Regional Division II championship. CdM (27-1-1) finished as the No. 2-ranked team in the nation, by ESPN RISE.

Williams scored the game's only goal in CdM's 1-0 win over Santa Barbara. He finished his varsity career with 69 goals and 27 assists.

"That's a good way to go out," Williams said. "No one can really top that as a senior. That was the best."

But there were also hard times during his senior season.

He missed five games with a hamstring injury. While he was out, CdM lost to Pacific Coast League rival University and tied with Laguna Hills. In the loss to University, Williams nearly played, but first-year coach George Larsen decided to sit him to let the hamstring heal.

"It sucked," Williams said of not being able to play. "It was hard just watching. I was dying to go in. I wanted to go in just on the last play, but I couldn't. But I'm glad [Larsen] didn't let me play because it healed."

Williams was also grateful for his teammates. Because there were so many other threats on the team, he was able to find more scoring chances.

Playing on a talented team, and unfortunately dealing with injuries, were aspects that Williams experienced in his first season with the UCLA Bruins.

Part of a talented freshman class, Williams helped the Bruins reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. He started 14 of 22 games, scoring five goals and producing four assists.

"It was great," Williams said of his freshman season at UCLA. "It was a lot different than high school the game is a lot faster. It's just more intense playing in college and being on the next level. Everyday is soccer. It's crazy. I love it though."

Even though he dealt with a nagging hip problem, Williams enjoyed his freshman season with the Bruins.

But the tournament run ending in the quarterfinals left Williams wanting more. He believes UCLA can achieve greatness. He's extra motivated because his new friend can help with that.

Williams' roommate is fellow freshman Kelyn Rowe, the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. They quickly connected this season.

"He's like my brother," Williams said. "We get along really well."

Williams wants success in college too.

He gained confidence it can happen by his great achievements in high school.

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