Williams signs with University of the Ozarks

Nathan Hendrix/The Highlander

MFHS senior Mason Williams smiles as he signs his Letter of Intent to play tennis for the Eagles of the University of the Ozarks on Wednesday.




By Nathan Hendrix

Sports Editor

Marble Falls High School senior tennis player Mason Williams signed a letter of intent to play tennis at the University of the Ozarks on Monday.

Williams will join an Eagles team that plays in the American Southwest Conference in NCAA Division III. Williams said he was sold on the university after his visit because of the quality of the campus and facilities.

“Their courts are some of the best in D-III, and that was a big focal point,” he said. “It's a beautiful campus.”

Marble Falls tennis coach Kimberly Thomas said the Eagles are getting a “gritty” player in Williams.

“He will hustle and give 100 percent every point,” she said. “As a sophomore, he was beating juniors and seniors because he refused to lose. That's something you can't teach.”

Williams started playing for Thomas in his sophomore year at Marble Falls, and he showed promise from the moment she saw him step on the court.

“I knew that he was destined to accomplish whatever he wanted to accomplish,” Thomas said. “This was something he wanted to do, and I knew he was going to get it done.”

The Eagles could use some of Williams' grit this season as they currently sit at 3-6 on the season. However, only one player on the team is a senior, so Williams will join an experienced squad next season.

“I think it's a program that he's going to blend very well in to,” Thomas said. “He's going to be a strong component of the team as soon as he arrives.”

The University of the Ozarks is a private liberal arts university in Clarksville, Arkansas with an average enrollment of 900 students.

Williams said his campus visit was his first time in Arkansas and described the experience as a “culture shock.” He said the whole experience is going to be new and different, but he's looking forward to it.

Division III is the largest division of NCAA classifications with over 450 institutions and more than 190,000 student-athletes. Williams will add to those student-athlete figures next season.

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