Feature stories showcasing the top boys and girls players in each combine category from the PepsiCo Showdown College Showcase will run through the end of April. The complete combine results sheet will be released in mid April prior to the kickoff of the 2018 outdoor recruiting season.

By Steve Millar

Freeburg junior forward Noah Williams expects to be the fastest player on the field in just about every game he plays.

“I’ve been fast most of my life,” Williams said. “It really kicked in during middle school. I realized I had a lot of speed then and it just went from there.”

Williams’ speed was on display when he participated in the PepsiCo Showdown College Showcase combine. He completed the 30-yard dash in 3.58 seconds, the top time amongst hundreds of high school players from across Illinois who competed in the event.

“It’s pretty awesome to have the best time,” Williams said. “Being fast helps me quite a bit. I’m able to get by defenders a lot easier.”

Finishing just behind Williams in the 30-yard dash for boys were: Herscher junior Jacob Allen (3.65 seconds), Young junior Phillip Denne (3.67), Oakwood senior Travis Peak (3.68) and Marist sophomore Ethan Fit (3.71).

Williams, who plays club soccer for St. Louis Scott Gallagher, was attending the PepsiCo Showdown College Showcase for the second straight year.

“Going the year before showed what I need to work on,” Williams said. “I knew I could improve a lot. It was a great opportunity to see what other guys from around the state can do and how I compare.”

Williams also turned in a strong effort in the 5-10-5 agility competition, tying for eighth with a time of 4.32 seconds. Williams attended the event with a group of Freeburg teammates, making for a fun day a long way from home.

“It was a great time,” he said. “We all got to do it together, so it was a cool experience with my teammates. We had a lot of fun with it. I was glad I came back to do it again.”

Playing for a Class 1A school in Freeburg, Williams said it’s not always easy to attract attention. Attending the showcase presented the opportunity to get seen by college coaches.

“Being a small-town kid and playing for a small school, this was a great opportunity to get noticed,” Williams said.

Below is the list of top 30-yard dash boys finishers separated by class from the 2017-2018 high school testing combine apart of the PepsiCo Showdown College Showcase at The Max in McCook:

Seniors (2018)

  1. Travis Peak, Oakwood, 3.68; 2. Christopher Modrzejewski, St. Patrick, 3.74; Brandon Sommer, Herscher, 3.75.

Juniors (2019)

  1. Noah Williams, Freeburg, 3.58; 2. Jacob Allen, Herscher, 3.65; 3. Phillip Denne, Young, 3.67.

Sophomores (2020)

  1. Ethan Fit, Marist, 3.71; 2. Langston Bedgood, St. Rita, 3.81; 3. Damien Alonzo, Woodstock North, 3.82.

Freshmen (2021)

  1. Alexandre Bal, University High (Chicago), 3.87; T-2. Camden Beliveau, Freeburg, 4.01; T-2. Leonel Juarez, Young, 4.01.

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