Anthony ‘Pooka’ Williams of Hahnville named LSWA’s Mr. Soccer for 2017


His numbers from the 2017 season are staggering, and in fact are among the best of all running backs in the history of the sport in the state of Louisiana.

The elite season paved the way for another prestigious award for Hahnville’s Anthony “Pooka” Williams, who has been selected as the Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance/Louisiana Sports Writers Association Mr. Football for the 2017 season.

“He’s run for almost seven miles,” said Hahnville coach, Nick Saltaformaggio. “That’s a pretty good four years labor. He’ll go down as one of the very greatest players in the history of prep football.”

Even on the grandest stage – the floor of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on the second Saturday of December – with a high-ankle sprain, Williams carried 36 times for 210 yards and a touchdown.

His prep career ended with a loss to Zachary in the Class 5A state title game, but his season ended with 3,118 rushing yards and 38 touchdowns.

Williams’ five-game run in the playoffs arguably was the greatest collection of postseason performances in state history. In those contests, he rushed for 1,384 yards and 14 touchdowns, including three 300-yard games.

To put those numbers in context, those stats alone would be good enough to be the third-ranked rusher for the entire New Orleans-metro area for the regular season, behind just himself and Covington’s Devin Brumfield, who was named a Class 5A All-State running back, as well.

To compare the Kansas signee’s numbers to perhaps the greatest high school running back ever to come from Louisiana, Williams finished with 259 more rushing yards and 13 more touchdowns in 2017 than current Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette had in his senior season at St. Augustine in 2013.

Williams is the first player from Hahnville to win this award since its inception in 1995 and the first running back to win it since Fournette took home the honors four years ago.

PAST WINNERS

2017: Anthony ‘Pooka’ Williams, Hahnville

2016: Keytaon Thompson, Landry-Walker

2015: Lindsey Scott, Zachary

2014: Deshawn Capers-Smith, Warren Easton

2013: Leonard Fournette, St. Augustine

2012: John Diarse, Neville

2011: Landon Collins, Dutchtown

2010: Anthony Johnson, O. Perry Walker

2009: Gavin Webster, Lutcher

2008: Blake Matherne, Belle Chasse

2007: Randall Mackey, Bastrop

2006: Joe McKnight, John Curtis

2005: Charles Scott, Jonesboro-Hodge

2004: Ryan Perrilloux, East St. John

2003: Chris Markey, Jesuit

2002: Robert Lane, Neville

2001: Jason Miller, Iota

2000: Byron Robertson, St. Thomas Aquinas

1999: Brock Berlin, Evangel

1998: Bradie James, West Monroe

1997: Adam McConathy, West Monroe

1996: Travis Minor, Baton Rouge-Catholic

1995: Cecil Collins, Leesville

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Jim Derry can be reached at jderry@nola.com or 504.826.3531. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JimDerryJr



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