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White River's Williams honored by state baseball coaches
Longtime White River High coach Mike Williams will be among the honorees during a Saturday evening ceremony hosted by the Washington State Baseball Coaches Association.
The organization sponsors its annual Hall of Fame banquet in conjunction with the Seattle Mariners with a luncheon at Safeco Field.
Williams will be receiving the Don Freeman Award. According to a WSBCA press release, the award “goes to a coach who is doing good things, is a member of the association and carries himself in a fashion that emulates the career of former Prairie (High School) coach and 1996 inductee Don Freeman.”
Keeping things in baseball terms, Williams said news of the Freeman Award “totally came out of left field for me.
“I am so shocked that other coaches across the state know what we have been trying to accomplish here. I feel like it is some validation for all the time spent coaching.”
Williams is a White River alum, having graduated in 1984 before heading off to play baseball at Big Bend Community College and Central Washington University. He returned home and coached the White River Middle School team to a championship in 1988 and headed the White River High program in 1989. He then made stops in Yelm and Enumclaw before taking over the White River program for good in 1997.
During his 17 years as a head coach Williams had built a record of 199-169 and led his teams to 13 playoff appearances. Along the way, there have been four league championships and one appearance in the state tournament; that came in 2002, when the Hornets placed fifth. He has earned league Coach of the Year accolades five times and, following last spring’s campaign, was honored by the WSBCA as the state’s Class 2A coach of the year.
Williams describes himself as “the luckiest guy in the world” to be teaching and coaching in the White River School District.
In other developments within the White River baseball program:
• Tanner Williams, now a senior at White River, was a second-team all-state selection in the 2A ranks following the spring 2012 season. The numbers show why he was selected: a 392 batting average with 20 runs batted in, nine doubles, two triples and only four strikeouts; that resulted in a .510 on-base percentage. Defensively, he made only four errors in 26 games at shortstop.