Athlete of the Week - March 13: Justice Williams

Each week the Citizen will recognize the athletic accomplishments of a Henrico County student athlete. Athletic and activities directors provide nominations, and members of the public may as well. The Citizen will select one male or female student to profile each week, along with several honorable mention recipients.

To nominate a student-athlete, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by Tuesday at noon with the subject "Athlete of the Week" and details about the nominee.

Because snow days canceled several athletic events, the first athlete of the week is being recognized for achievements in February.

On Feb. 22, Godwin High School senior Justice Williams won the 2015 5A state wrestling championship for the 220-pound weight class. Williams pinned his opponent using a half-Nelson with 20 seconds left in the third period.

The victory came moments after Williams’ teammate was carried off the mat with a concussion, and Williams dedicated his victory to his teammate.

The 6-foot-1 senior went 49-1 this season, and he attributed his one loss as being a pivotal in his development.

“When I was 21-0, I thought I could beat anyone, but after I lost that match I realized I needed to be humble,” Williams said. “I went into that match cocky, and I should have never done that. I learned to never underestimate my opponent.”

Williams began wrestling in seventh grade after getting cut from the basketball team. “I just wanted to play a winter sport,” he said.

He broke his toe that year and was forced to sit out, but in eighth grade he won his conference. From that point on he knew that he could succeed at wrestling, and he pleaded with his coach to enter him into every off season tournament that he could.

When Williams is on the mat he ignores the bedlam surrounding him.

“The fans are motivating, but when I’m out there on the mat I block it all out,” said Williams. “My coach doesn’t really even say anything to me. He knows I know what to do.”

Although Williams played football for Godwin as well, he said that wrestling is his first passion. “Wrestling gets me fired up because it’s such an individual sport,” he said.

As Williams considers scholarship offers and debates whether to play football or wrestle in college, he will relish his last days at Godwin. He said that in the midst of the excitement of winning the state championship he felt sad knowing that it was his last time wrestling for the school.

Honorable mentions
Tony Lofton, Varina basketball
32 points, 8 steals, 9 rebounds during 3 games

Michael Williams, Varina basketball
35 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 6 steals during 3 games, went 8-10 from the free throw line in the Conference 3 championship

Jack Somers, Tucker wreslting
State runner up, 182-pound weight class

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The Henrico County Planning Department will hold a workshop from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at John Rolfe Middle School, 6901 Messer Rd., for residents and other members of the public to provide additional input for a study of the Route 5 corridor and Marion Hill areas. The meeting will include an overview of community input received so far and an explanation of how it is reflected in the study’s draft goals and objectives. The presentation will be followed by an exercise that will allow attendees to express their opinions about the draft goals and objectives. Participants will use electronic keypads to register their opinions, and results for the group will be displayed on-screen in real time. Participants also will be asked to provide feedback about a restroom facility that is planned at the Four Mile Creek Park trailhead. The draft Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill Study, with summaries of previous meetings, is available at For details, contact Rosemary Deemer at (804) 501-4488 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Full text

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