DURHAM — AtDurham's Northern High School, the Knights are enjoying another great football season. When you have a rugged running back like senior Andre Williams, it's no wonder.
In the Knights' 11-0 start, Williams has over 1,500 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns.
"He has a combination of speed and power, and he can break it against anybody from anyplace on the field," says coach Gary Merrill.
Williams is equally outstanding in the classroom with a 3.2 grade point average.
"In my family, grades come first, and without grades there's no football," Williams says. "I cherish football a whole lot, but in reality I know grades are more important to me because I can get injured on the football field anytime, but if I do what I need to do in the classroom, nobody can take that away from me."
"I think he is just a born leader," teacher Linda Moore says. "He's honest and trustworthy, and he helps me set the tone of the class by his behavior."
His coach agrees. "He knows the difference between right and wrong; he does the right things. He can say that word in the English language that's hard to say -- it's 'no.' Sometimes that's the hardest word for a young person to say, and he can say that," Merrill says.
"With this team, we're not only a football team, but also a family," Williams says of his peers. "And I've grown up here at Northern, and I've matured at Northern. And being at Northern means a whole lot to me because ever since I was a little kid, I dreamed of playing for Northern Durham.
Andre Williams is the winner of this week's Extra Effort Award. Tom Suiter's Extra Effort award airs Wednesdays during WRAL's 6:00 News.
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