Injuries can’t extinguish the competitive fire of Tevin Williams
December 13, 2016
Soccer is the center of Tevin Williams’ life. So when his father informed him they were moving to the United States from Jamaica, he didn’t mind, as long as he could keep playing.
His family settled in Florida, where his blossoming skills started to catch the eyes of recruiters. But when Williams had the opportunity to join coach Devan Anderson – also from Jamaica – at Cuyahoga Community College, he jumped at the chance to take his talents to Northeast Ohio.
Williams’ first season at Tri-C was a stellar one. Among several honors he was nominated as a first-team All-American and finished the season as the conference leader in goals scored.
Not only did Tevin succeed on the field, but he maintained a 3.94 GPA in the classroom. On and off the field, he was performing like an all-star.
But right at the zenith of his success, he suffered a devastating blow. During practice leading up to his second season at Tri-C, Williams tore his ACL. The serious knee injury required surgery and a recovery time of about one year. His second season was over before it began.
The following year challenged Williams in ways he had never experienced before. For him, soccer and school go hand-in-hand. With no focus on soccer, he found it difficult to stay focused on school.
He leaned on the support of Anderson, Western Campus athletic director Mark Rodriguez and Beverly Reynolds in the campus financial aid office, who Williams calls his “mom away from home.” With their support, Williams was able to persevere in the classroom despite having his soccer career sidelined.
When Williams returned to the field, he had to get used to playing all over again.
“A lot of players don’t recover from this type of injury, and if they do recover they don’t play at the level they were prior to the injury,” Tevin said. “I felt good, but that first competitive experience back from the injury, I knew I wasn’t as composed as I used to be. I didn’t take shots I would have normally taken, but game after game I started to score more goals.”
But the knee problems weren’t entirely a thing of the past. as Williams started to find a rhythm, he tore his meniscus, which meant another surgery and more recovery.
Despite the injuries, Williams’ stellar performance on the field caught the attention of Cleveland State University’s soccer program. Following his time at Tri-C, he will pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting at CSU, and has secured a spot on their soccer team.
“The athletics experience at Tri-C has been excellent,” he said. “If I had the chance to go back in time and make the decision again, I would still make the decision to come here, even if I knew I’d tear my ACL, because my experience has been so great.”