Blazing a trail

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 10, 2001

Williamson signs with UAB

On Wednesday, the "national signing" day for high school students, Sam Williamson signed with the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

In the company of his parents, and with their full blessings, the defensive-end signed a letter-of-intent to accept a full scholarship for his abilities and talents as an athlete, and also for his above average grades.

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"I like itI think it is a great opportunity for him," said Williamson's father, Sammie. "I am a religious man, and I thank God for gracing us; I also thank UAB, who made a smart decision in recruiting Sam."

Although equally proud for her son, Michelle Williamson wishes he was staying.

"I just wish he would be getting one more year with Coach Moore," she said.

Williamson, the second of three children, said his siblings are also excited for him.

"My little brother Nico' (Atencio) is very excited. When he found out that the UAB Blazers' mascot is a dragon, he thought it was great, saying that we would breathe fire."

Coach Terry Moore, head football coach and athletic director at Greenville High School, said that he personally knew Coach VanDerHayden, assistant football coach at UAB, and the man responsible for scouting, and ultimately recruiting Williamson.

"Coach VanDerHayden is a fine man, and very wise," Moore said. "UAB is getting a good mansomeone did a great job in raising Sam, giving him the right stuff."

Moore said that he could not have asked for any better from Williamson while the senior played football for the Tigers.

"Sam has always done exactly what we have asked of him, he always gave us his very best."

After sealing the Federal Express mailer that would carry his paperwork back to Birmingham, Sam said that he had already decided on his major course of study.

"I am going to major in criminal justice," he said.