Anatomy of an Athlete
Breaking Tackles, and Stereotypes
Trying to pigeonhole Brett Williams ’13 off the football field is as difficult as trying to tackle him on it. And that’s just the way he wants it.
“I really hate the dumb jock stereotype and it’s something that I try to break down,” said Williams, a senior running back. “I don’t want people to see me as just a football player. It’s very important for people to know that—especially at Kenyon—a football player is not a stereotype.”
Against convention, Williams’s achievements on the gridiron seem to be fueled by his easy-going demeanor and well-rounded interests off of it. Rather than participate in a rowdy pregame ritual of cracking helmets and guttural screams, he seeks solitude for a moment of prayer before taking the field. He appeared in the campus production of Icarus and Aria last spring, bringing to his role the same ease with which he stiff-arms linebackers. And while a nickname like “The Sad Poet” won’t strike fear into opponents, Williams simply shrugs off his teammates’ jab for being one of the few English majors on the roster and lets his bruising running style do the talking.
When Williams takes off his uniform for the final time at the end of the season, the two-time All-North Coast Athletic Conference selection will leave his name peppered throughout the Lords record book. If he has it his way, though, it won’t be the last notable list at the College to include his name. The aspiring writer hopes to one day have a part in Kenyon’s literary tradition as a published author. In fact, he already has an idea for a novel about a Division III football team—just another example of the symbiosis of his lives on and off the field. —Mike Andrews