Ty Smith has been coaching with the Wyomissing track and field team for more than 20 years. He’s seen plenty of talented athletes come through the program. He’s watched many others compete at a high level.
The Spartans throws coach, however, can’t think of anyone else quite like Jven Williams.
“He’s a five-star football recruit, right?” Smith said. “But in track and field, he’s one of only three kids in the nation that does what he does.
“To see what I’ve seen, and I’ve seen some of the best throwers that this county, district and state have produced, he’s probably without a doubt the best.”
Williams, a 6-4, 310-pound junior, became a hot football recruit since last track season and last month committed to play at Penn State. But his accomplishments in track and field are just as impressive. He won District 3 Class 2A gold in the shot put and finished third in the state last spring. He also was the Berks champ in the discus. Those accomplishments were heightened by the fact that he was able to find success alongside his older brother, Rushard, who won the district discus title and was the Berks champion in the shot.
“It was really cool,” Williams said about competing alongside his brother. “I was a very immature athlete at that time and it was very cool being able to step on a bigger stage with my brother and have someone to help push me and get me through it. The result of the season was unexpected, but it was a blast going through that with my family.”
With Rushard having graduated, Jven is looking to add more accomplishments to the family ledger.
“My goal now is to break the county records and keep working up the leaderboards and become one of the best throwers in Berks history,” Williams said.
Williams already has set the school record in the discus at 176-2 and is looking to break the county mark of 195-11 set by Schuylkill Valley’s Evan Arnott in 2013.
Smith seemed to have no doubts that Williams would be able to break more records in the discus and shot.
“John Hart owns the school record for shot at 58-3, which he (Williams) will break,” Smith said. “He can break that easily. We’ve had throwers break every record and win multiple state medals on the boys side; and that’s something you don’t see. It’s been truly an honor for me to be around these guys.”
Williams has provided a dominating presence as a lineman for the Wyomissing football team. And although football may be the sport Williams will play in college, it’s certainly not his only focus.
“Honestly, I spend more time throughout the year throwing than playing football,” Williams said. “I do indoor and outdoor track, so right after the football season ends I’m throwing until the beginning of the summer. That plays a big portion of how I play.”
When asked if he felt like his throwing exercises help to make him a better football player, Williams confidently agreed with the notion.
“My power and quickness has a lot to do with the technique and rotation of the shot put and discus,” Williams said. “They just correlate so well it’s almost like you are working on football while you’re throwing, because you’re doing small stuff that is going to lead to a big season.”
Wyomissing will open its season on April 6 when they take on Conrad Weiser at home at 3:45 pm
The Spartans are striving to continue their culture of athletic success in high school sports.
“It’s unlike anything else.” Smith said. “My expectation is for them to really enjoy the process. There’s nothing like high school athletics. There’s nothing like these moments, and I don’t want them to take them for granted.”
With an eye towards more titles and more records, Williams won’t be taking anything for granted.
“As a team the goal is always to win a state championship,” Williams said. “My goal is to accomplish all that I can and be the best version of myself I can be.”