Sayre's Williams signs with St. Bonaventure - 2016 NTL and District 4 News - WellsboroAthletics.com
 
 
 

Sayre's Williams signs with St. Bonaventure.

By: The Review | Towanda Daily Review | November 10, 2016

 

Sayre's Matt Williams continued the stride by signing a letter of intent Wednesday afternoon to play baseball at St. Bonaventure University, a member of the NCAA D-I Atlantic 10 conference.

For Williams, Bonaventure was a no-brainer.

"I went to the school and really enjoyed the visit," Williams said. "The team seems very close-knit. Bonaventure gave me an offer and I accepted it."

Williams continued, "I had a great experience during my visit. Everyone was very helpful."

Williams had other baseball scholarship offers with different offers, but he knew right away his heart was set with the Bonnies.

"I had a few other offers, but I fell in love with St. Bonaventure," Williams said. "That's the way it went."

Sayre coach Jon Pack over the years has seen Williams not only develop on the diamond, but also with his maturity level on and off the field.

"It's a great accomplishment and I'm very proud of him. I've seen him grow into a great ballplayer and person these past four years. Matt deserves everything he gets.

Williams provides the skills at multiple positions, but Bonas and their coach Larry Sudbrook made it clear the one position they'd like to see him play at.

Other than taking on his set position, Williams wants to take as many cuts as he can in the batting cage to help him prepare for his first season at the collegiate level.

"(Coach Sudbrook) wants me at first base so I'm going to have to work hard and put on some weight," Williams said. I hope to increase my bat speed a little and get an opportunity to get on the field here and there."

Pack added, "The weight room is definitely going to be a factor for him. I know he does some conditioning now but he'll have to put 15-20 pounds to play at the D-I level."

Challenges will face Williams, but Pack has faith he'll be at a new level with his work ethic.

"He's busted his butt to get to this level," Pack said. "I have all the confidence that he will continue to do well and I know he's not going to quit working. Matt is a very hungry individual when it comes to competing on the baseball diamond."

Pack continued, "Matt is an all-around good kid, raised the right way and also a good student. He has very good moral values so I think that'll carry him a long way."

Pack himself played baseball at Susquehanna University, a Division III program. He has an idea of what Williams will expect, but can't compare with the different division levels.

"There's a lot of pressure playing baseball at the next level, but I can only speak from a D-III standpoint," Pack said. "There's probably two or three other recruits coming in and looking to play first as well so Matt will have to bust his tail. I think it'll bring the best out in Matt because competition is a good thing."

Williams has no shortage of being the all-around ball player with the Bonnies just like he is now with the Redskins.

"Matt has very good hands and footwork," Pack said. "He has a tremendous swing and everything to me seems to be textbook for him. If he keeps his mass and academics at a good level, he should be set. However, getting used to that will be the biggest hill to climb."

With all things considered for Williams, he was already sold on the facilities St. Bonaventure provides.

"(Bonaventure) has great facilities," Williams said. "I'm looking forward to playing on their baseball field."

Williams plans to major in accounting when he begins at St. Bonaventure next fall.

In his junior season with the Redskins, Williams batted .387 with 16 RBIs, 24 runs, seven doubles and eight stolen bases. He also had an on-base plus slugging of 1.052, along with a .565 slugging and a .487 on-base percentage.

On the mound, he pitched 14.2 innings with a 3-0 record and 26 strikeouts, not allowing a run or hit in the process.