JSerra soccer standout embodies what a Catholic athlete should be

By Jenelyn Russo     7/10/2017

Surrounded by soccer at a young age, Samantha spent much of her early years either watching the sport on television with her father or attending her brother’s games.

“I first started playing competitively when I was around six years old,” says Williams. “It was a great way to get my energy out. It was really fun to me.”

Entering her sophomore year at JSerra Catholic High School, the goal-scoring forward for the Lions is a competitor at heart and loves the challenge of setting and achieving her goals.



“You can set goals and work hard towards those goals,” says Williams. “The feeling of accomplishment when you reach those goals… It just keeps me going. There’s always more you can do to improve your craft and your game.”

The 15-year-old also enjoys the long-term friendships she’s made through playing the game.

“I love the friendships I make and the bonds I make with my friends,” says Williams. “Some of the friends I have today I made when I was a little girl on my first AYSO team.”

Known for her technical play and her ability to both pass and score, JSerra girls soccer head coach, Greg Baker, leans on Williams as a leader and feels the program is fortunate to have such a versatile player.

“Samantha is an excellent athlete, student and human being,” says Baker. “She has great discipline in the classroom and on the field. She constantly shows leadership with her teammates by exuding what a Catholic student athlete should. She is positive and always trying to help in anyway she can, keeping the team’s success in the forefront.”

When challenges come her way, Williams takes an optimistic approach to learning life’s lessons and always looks for the positive.

“One important lesson that I’ve learned is there are no bad days,” says Williams. “You can always take a step back, look at what you did, and say, ‘Okay, what can I do better next time?’ There’s always tomorrow and you can always get better some way or another. So that keeps me going.”

Her future goals include playing Division I soccer and studying either journalism or business in college. But her current focus includes giving back, as Williams started a non-profit called Kids Kick Back, an organization that collects and donates soccer cleats and other athletic shoes to kids in need around the world.

Williams remains inspired by her family and female athletes who are working hard to pave the way in women’s athletics. The Laguna Beach resident says her faith keeps her humble, and she trusts that God has a plan for her life.

“I believe that life lessons through soccer and lessons I’ve learned through faith have given me so many opportunities,” says Williams. “They’ve made me the person I am today. I think I can do whatever I want to do in my life with those two lessons combined.”