LA High junior Semaj Williams plays football and soccer (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Los Angeles High School junior Semaj Williams is a dual sport athlete, competing in football and soccer.

“I just really love sports,” Williams said. “It just feels nice to be able to do more than one thing instead of being stuck on one thing.”

Williams has been on the football varsity squad all three years. He played at a different position each year, and although it was challenging, learning multiple positions made him a dependable player.

“Freshman year, it was [defensive] end, sophomore year, it was wide receiver and linebacker and then now is running back, wide receiver, and corner,” he said. “If somebody gets moved out of one position, coach can trust me to be at that position.”

Related Stories

USC Falls to Notre Dame, 48-20

Rams Find Succes in the Running Game to Defeat the Cardinals

Williams has played one season of JV soccer as a goalkeeper. He mentioned how the skills he learned in soccer helped him in football.

“Footwork and catching is definitely what helps out in that aspect,” he said. “And diving from soccer converted into football is also very useful.”

Football conditions Williams for soccer and vice versa, giving him stamina for both sports. Learning how and when to dive without hurting himself has also been a challenge. He explained how exciting it is to block a goal shot.

“It’s pretty exhilarating to be honest to be able to prevent a score,” Williams said. “It feels like the same thing to do inside of football as if there was a deep ball to be thrown in the endzone and you just stop it.”

Williams uses his time wisely when it comes to balancing academics and athletics. He is currently taking AP English.

“[I] do whatever assignments are assigned right after practice,” he said. “Sit down and get started on assignments immediately after a practice or after a game.”

Williams aspires to play football at the college level. His father is his main motivator to excel as a student athlete. He is also the reason why Williams got into football.

“It’s just a fun sport honestly and my dad has played it and I’ve always wanted to play as a kid,” he said. “He’s very passionate about sports and he pushes me to be better at them.”