MERIDIAN, Miss. -- It's said the name on the front of the jersey matters more than the name on the back. On William Lamar's, it says the same thing.
"William was a three-year starter for us," said Lamar head football coach Mac Barnes. "William will say this and I'll say it too. The highlight of his career is he intercepted the ball and scored the winning touchdown in the state championship against Simpson two years ago."
The Raiders were seeking a second straight MAIS AAAA Division II championship in 2017, facing off against Simpson Academy at Jackson Academy. The Cougars led Lamar 23-19 with less than five minutes to play in the game, and faced a 3rd down deep in Raiders territory.
"I saw the quarterback drop back and I was like, 'oh, they're about to throw it'," Lamar said. "I saw the running back out of the backfield, and I just kind of grabbed it and ran."
Lamar intercepted a Hooks Harvey pass and returned it 19 yards to give the Raiders a lead late in the game. Simpson would tie the game up and force overtime, but the Raiders would outlast the Cougars to win 33-32.
William scores well not just on the athletic fields for Lamar, but in the classroom. He scored a 29 on his ACT, and holds a 4.17 GPA. Lamar is also apart of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, and Student Council.
"My impression of William is that he's just one of those students that leads by example," said Lamar secondary principal Linda Dulaney. "He steps us as a leader, and he's always willing to work just as hard in his athletics as he is in the classroom. I think his peers see him as someone who leads them by example."