Williams linebacker sets school tackling record; meanwhile running back puts on offensive show, scores 3 touchdowns

Williams High School running back Kylei Richmond (left) and linebacker Will Rhodes had record-setting performances Friday night against Southern Alamance. Richmond had 3 touchdowns and Rhodes had 28 tackles, setting a new school record.

By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Williams linebacker Will Rhodes had so many things to concentrate on during last week’s game at Southern Alamance.

He was too busy to be counting his tackles.

It turns out that the tally was 28 stops for a school-record total.

He said the Bulldogs’ 37-20 victory was the most satisfying part.

Williams coach Patrick Stokes said that it was a heavy load for Rhodes, a senior who’s committed to play at Elon. Going against Southern’s run-heavy offense can be taxing, but Rhodes took advantage.

“It depends on who you play and the things they’re doing,” Rhodes said, pointing out that this week’s opponent, Eastern Randolph, might throw the ball more often.

Will Rhodes

This isn’t the first time Rhodes has held that school record. In the mid-1990s, linebacker Brandon Spoon became the record holder before his mark was broken by defensive back Dirul Diaab. Rhodes and current teammate Grayson Loy then topped that mark last year, but the 28 tackles might be hard to eclipse.

Williams (2-1) has won its past two games.

For ongoing sports coverage by veteran sports writer Bob Sutton, subscribe now: Just $50 for one year online access. If you’re in Alamance County, that rate also includes a printed edition by mail.  Sign up now.

“We’re getting a lot of confidence,” said Williams running back Kylei Richmond, who scored three touchdowns at Southern Alamance. “Week 2 came around and we hit the ground

Kylei Richmond

rolling and it went our way. … Hopefully, we go out and execute how we did last week and the week before that.” [See interview with Richmond on The Alamance News YouTube channel.]

[Story continues below YouTube videos of Kylei Richmond interview.]

Williams is amid a challenging opening month of the season going into Friday night’s game at Eastern Randolph (2-1).

Each of the Bulldogs’ first four opponents either won conference championships or played for a league title in the final week of the regular season last year.

Those four teams went a combined 34-9-1 last season.

The Bulldogs failed to avenge a loss to Cummings with a two-point defeat to open this season, but they knocked off Eastern Guilford and then came out on top against Southern Alamance last week.

“Coming off the loss last year to Southern, it was kind of a big win for us,” Richmond said.
Stokes said he likes the growth from the Bulldogs.

“The kids are playing with a lot of confidence right now,” he said. “We’re playing some good teams and you want to play teams that are well-coached.”

In the Southern game, Richmond had two rushing touchdowns and another on a reception on a screen play.

The Bulldogs were able to hold on with the help of Coleman Mahan recovering two Southern onside kicks.