Tue, July 16

Camp Verde H.S. Female Student-Athlete of the Year
Rochelle Williams

Senior Rochelle Williams is arguably one of the best female athletes at Camp Verde High School. That coupled with her 3.4 grade point average makes her this year's Student-Athlete of the Year picked by The Camp Verde Bugle.

Williams has been a major part of the Cowboys' athletic program since her freshman year. She played on the Varsity soccer team all four years at Camp Verde, earning two 1st Team All Region honors and a 2nd Team All Region honor. Her senior year she was voted team Most Valuable Player and was the leading scorer in the 2A Conference.

She began playing basketball for the Cowboys her freshman year on the JV team. Beginning her sophomore year through senior year she played on Varsity, which includes being a big part of the 2007 2A State Runner-up basketball team.

She earned 1st Team All State honors her senior year as well as Honorable Mention All Region her sophomore and junior years. She also has been chosen to receive the Team's Defensive Award all three years on varsity.

Williams' third sport she played at Camp Verde was softball. She participated on the team for three years, her freshman through junior years. She earned 1st Team All Region her junior year for her efforts in the outfield and at the plate.

Sports has kept her busy for the past four years, taking only one season off her senior year. Instead of playing softball she focused on getting academic scholarships to Yavapai College where she will attend as a freshman next semester.

Williams began playing soccer as soon as she could walk she said. Her favorite parts about sports, is well ... she just loves the game.

Her favorite accomplishment on the team came her junior year against Sedona. The Scorpion's goalie hadn't been scored on all year, which is until Williams snuck one past her.

"It was the happiest moment ever," said Williams. "I was so excited to be the only one to score on their goalie that I tackled one of my teammates. It was the best feeling."

She began playing basketball in the fifth grade. She loved playing defense for the Cowboys and said it was a lot of fun to her. Something obvious to see during games if you ever watched her traverse up and down the court, stealing and causing a lot of frustration to their opponent's offense.

In fact one of her favorite memories of high school sports happened her sophomore year while on the varsity basketball team. "We played Chino Valley away and went into double overtime. When I was playing I remember thinking that this was the best game I've ever been, but I wanted it to be done," said Williams.

The Cowboys went on to win the game, but not before Williams' aggressive defensive style frustrated Chino's point guard and the rest of the team. Coach Mark Showers kept Williams on the point guard for the game, knowing the frustration she was causing as he chuckled about this little sophomore causing so much trouble.

Williams played softball for three years on the Varsity team. Not her favorite sport, her main motivation was because her friends joined. But she ended up being a victim of her own success. While her friends continued on the JV team, Williams was brought up to Varsity her freshman year and didn't play with her friends on the team. She continued to play, but decided her senior year to focus on scholarships and working in preparation for college.

Currently she is working two jobs and saving money for college. She is moving to Prescott to attend Yavapai College in the fall. She already has received enough scholarship money to cover her first year of tuition and books. She plans on majoring in Business Management to get her Associates Degree. Then she wants to go on to Cosmetology School and open up a salon with her sister, Natasha.

As far as college life, Williams is actually excited about not playing sports in college.

"Not playing sports will be weird but something different in life," said Williams. "I want to be able to go to school and work and focus on that."

Sports aren't out of the picture completely. This summer she is playing on a recreational softball team in Camp Verde.

He biggest supporter has been her father, Richard Williams. He had also gotten Rochelle into kickboxing. Although she didn't love it, she did win Nationals in 2003.

"I cried when I won, not because I won, but because of how proud my dad was of me for doing that. I was happy for him."

Her favorite coaches at Camp Verde were Mary Taylor, her soccer coach and Mark Showers, her basketball coach.

"I liked Coach Mary as more of a friend and I liked coach Showers because he is just a great coach and he really knows basketball."

What she will miss most about Camp Verde High School are the sports.

"A lot of my high school memories come from playing on teams, staying in hotels and playing crazy games. I am going to miss that. But I am also excited about doing something different."