Basalt running back Noah Williams signs with Fort Lewis College for football
From the sheer talent to the infectious personality, Noah Williams was probably going to fit in with any program he chose. And Wednesday at Basalt High School, the BHS senior made it official on National Signing Day and will continue his football career at Fort Lewis College in Durango.
“He put up some special numbers. His senior stats were second-to-none that I’ve coached in my 15 years here,” Basalt football coach Carl Frerichs said. “But you would have thought he went to school his whole life here. That’s just how well he fit in with the kids and the type of kid he is.”
Williams, who only played one season for the Longhorns after moving to the Roaring Fork Valley from Truckee, California, was statistically one of the best running backs in the state last season. In 11 games, the former ski racer rushed for 1,422 yards and 26 touchdowns, including a 287-yard, six-touchdown outing on Oct. 6 during Aspen High School’s homecoming.
The Longhorns went 9-2 in 2017, won the Class 2A Western Slope League for the second consecutive season and won their first 2A playoff game in program history before bowing out in the second round to the eventual state champion, Bayfield.
Now, Williams will see if he can find that same success with Fort Lewis, which plays in the always-strong NCAA Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
“That’s a huge step,” Williams said. “That’s a little different than high school. I’m going to be competing with some big boys and it’s going to be a challenge, but I think I’m up for it.”
Hardly a superpower in the RMAC, the Skyhawks went 5-6 in 2017. Their best season over the past decade was a 7-4 campaign in 2015.
Williams, who was a standout sprinter for the BHS track and field team last spring, expects to continue at running back with Fort Lewis, but also said it was far from official. While he feels the football program is a perfect fit, the school itself also resonated well with him.
“Fort Lewis is just a college town. The campus alone is just gorgeous. I loved it to death,” Williams said. “The atmosphere when I went there was just unbelievable. I fit in really well and they liked me off the bat. Hopefully that stays that way and we keep it going.”
Williams was non-committal on a major, but did express interest in exploring the fire sciences and one day becoming a firefighter.
“We are definitely going to miss No. 4. Noah had an awesome, awesome year,” Frerichs said. “I’m just so happy for him and his family. He found a great fit for himself and an opportunity to keep showing what he can do because he’s definitely a special kid and a special talent.”
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Basalt went 11-5 in the shortened regular season and finished a mere fourth in the Class 3A Western Slope League behind Moffat County, Gunnison and Delta. Then the Longhorns were the No. 21 seed in regional play that only includes 24 teams, but still shook up the bracket with a pair of big upsets.