Williams Expands Lacrosse Role, Prepares For PLL Season
Considering Zed Williams’ athletics resume during the last 12 months, the mind staggers to think what might have been possible in the absence of a global pandemic.
The Silver Creek Central School graduate and former University of Virginia star posted the best of his three seasons in the National Lacrosse League, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the Premier Lacrosse League’s Championship Series for the defending champion Whipsnakes.
Recently, Williams has grown his coaching resume to an equal degree, a reflection of his desire to work with collegiate players also looking to make their mark in professional lacrosse.
On April 13, the Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League announced via Twitter that Williams would join the team as a coach for the summer season.
According to a news release from the Buffalo Bandits, “The US Box Lacrosse Association (USBOXLA), the country’s largest box-specific governing body, and in partnership with the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits and Rochester Knighthawks, is proud to announce the addition of the Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League (UCBLL) to the National Collegiate Box Series (NCBS). The UCBLL will join a growing lineup of NCBS leagues, which includes the already established Colorado Collegiate Box Lacrosse League (CCBLL) and Ohio Collegiate Box Lacrosse League (OCBLL), along with the recently announced Connecticut Collegiate Box Lacrosse League (CTCBLL).”
With the UCBLL, Williams will train and evaluate college players in Buffalo for the summer series of drafts and box games.
“I’m going to go to the practices and probably demonstrate some drills and we’re going to put these kids through some practices. Then we compete against each other all summer,” Williams said.
On April 19, St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute announced via Twitter that Williams would join their coaching staff for the 2021 season.
The Marauders currently sit at 8-3 on the year and are riding and eight-game winning streak into the Northeast Conference Championships, which begin today.
“I’m a volunteer right now at St. Joe’s for the season,” Williams said. “It is a lot of fun because they are a really great group of kids, a great group of coaches and people there. I’m having a blast. It is a little bit of everything. I’ve been around the game for such a long time now and I’ve figured things out as I went on to the next level, continued to grow and get knowledge and see things from all over the field. I’m just there to hang out with the kids and build a relationship with them and also just try and pass on anything knowledgeable that I have.”
Things will likely continue to get better when Williams returns to the field for Whipsnakes training camp on May 28 in Boston.
Also taking the field will be longtime friend and fellow Silver Creek graduate Frank Brown, who was signed by the Whipsnakes on April 4.
The two previously played together with the Georgia Swarm, who drafted Williams No. 4 overall in the NLL draft, and will now rejoin the PLL for a tour-based schedule that visits different host cities throughout the summer.
See WILLIAMS, Page B2
“It is always a pleasure playing with Frank,” Williams said. “I don’t get to see him as much as I used to in high school and stuff, but when we played together for Georgia for a little bit we were together every weekend, so we caught up quite a bit. It’s always a fun time just being with him. Lacrosse-wise I am excited to get out there and play with him. We’ve been playing with each other since we were kids. You just find that passion when you are playing with someone like that again.”
In his time spent with young up-and-coming players, Williams has found a new role in the lacrosse community as a coach and a mentor. It is a job few are better suited for.
“Not only do I enjoy it, but just to give back to the game and help these kids get a better opportunity,” Williams said. “Whether it is helping them out here or there with their lacrosse games or helping them out here or there with life decisions.”