NSD 2017: Wetumpka friends, teammates sign scholarships
By Graham Dunn
WETUMPKA - Deandre Williams and Jay McDonald grew up together playing basketball at the local YMCA.
In all of that time, neither expected to be sitting at a table in the Wetumpka High School gymnasium one day signing a scholarship to play college football.
The two seniors will get the chance at the next level with Williams signing with Jackson State and McDonald signing with West Alabama during a special ceremony on Wednesday.
“It’s a day you dream about,” McDonald said. “I grew up with Deandre talking about going to college one day. Here we are.”
McDonald was the key to Wetumpka’s success on defense this past season while Williams was a big component in the Indians’ offense.
“(Williams) had some big plays for us,” Wetumpka coach Tim Perry said. “He made a big run against Stanhope Elmore that looked like he was stopped at the line of scrimmage and went about 50 yards for a score. He had a couple of kickoff returns for touchdowns. He became very dangerous with the football in his hands.”
Perry called McDonald “a great practice player,” but that wasn’t a slight.
“He has a tremendous work ethic,” Perry said. “He is a great practice player (and gives) almost the same effort in practice as in a game. He started to emerge as a leader in the 10th grade. He has impeccable character, a great reputation in the classroom and on the field.”
Being in the same conference with local teams Alabama State and Alabama A&M, Williams said he is excited his family will be able to watch him play a couple of times a few miles up the road in Montgomery and Huntsville.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to come back here and play in front of family and friends,” Williams said. “This is a great opportunity for me and I plan to make the most of it.”