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Prep boys track and field preview: Monona Grove’s Michael Williams-Davis powers up for a big senior year

March 21, 2019
Williams-Davis

Michael Williams-Davis got a taste of high-level success last spring. It has left him hungry for more entering this, his senior season with the Monona Grove boys track and field team.

Last year, Williams-Davis took fourth place in the shot put at the WIAA Division 1 state track and field meet in 2018, hitting a mark of 58 feet, 1 inch. He also made it to the finals in discus, placing ninth with a throw of 155-5.

Also an all-Badger South Conference defensive end for Monona Grove’s 11-1 football team last fall, the 6-foot, 1-inch, 225-pound athlete has made the goal for his senior season of track and field quite clear:

“Win state.”

His game plan seems sensible: “I’ve got a big season coming up. I need to get my mind right, keep working hard and just do my best. That’s all I can do, and if I don’t reach my goal, then I have to accept that.”

Although Williams-Davis enjoyed football, he said he definitely likes track and field better.

“I like the individuality that I have in track and field. I like to get in my own mind, think and focus on my goals,” Williams-Davis said.

In competition, Williams-Davis’ coaches say he is exceptionally focused and goal-oriented — a point highlighted by his offseason lifting program, which brings him to the weight room every day of the school week, and his noticeable improvements from one year to the next.

As a sophomore, Williams-Davis threw the discus a respectable 145 feet. Last season he was able to hit 165 feet, though his mark at state was about 10 feet off that season high.

“Mike has really put in the work in the offseason, and has continued to get better throughout his time here at Monona Grove,” Silver Eagles coach Brian Storms said. “He has put in the time and made himself the next one to carry the torch for Monona Grove throwers.”

Assistant track and field coach Brian Jefferson taught Williams-Davis’ history class at Monona Grove, and was equally impressed by the thrower’s effect in the classroom.

“You get to see the athletes in another element. Like, you get to see Mike being this nice teddy bear in the classroom,” Jefferson said. “He gets along with everybody, which is just so refreshing to see outside of sports.”

Storms, who is also heavily involved in coaching the MG throwers, echoed the same sentiment.

“He’s not just an athlete. Mike went on a leadership retreat, and the next week at school, six teachers came up to me without me saying anything, to tell me how great and respectful of a kid Mike was,” Storms said.

“He’s the epitome of the kid you want on your team, no matter how talented he is.”

Despite all of his success on the football field, the throwing pits and in the classroom, Williams-Davis does not take anything for granted.

“I’m just thankful that I get to participate, because not everybody gets to do this,” Williams-Davis said.

After graduation, Williams-Davis plans to continue his track and field career at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Until then, he says, he’s keeping his eyes focused on the prize.