Springdale High School and the Bulldog football family have faced adversity before. However, nothing compares to suddenly losing a friend, a teammate, and a member of the family. Springdale wide receiver Kyler Williams passed away last Saturday night leaving our community in shock. From Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema, to friends and classmates at Springdale High School, Kyler Williams made an impact on everyone he met.
What many recognized when looking at Kyler was that he was an excellent athlete. Mascot Media had the honor of interviewing Kyler for the series “Life in the 7A-West”: it was a pleasure talking with a mature, genuine, sincere, and driven young man. Williams could make playing football look easy. Williams’ final game was an incredible performance by a gifted and talented player. Williams racked up 265 yards receiving and three touchdowns in helping the Bulldogs defeat Rogers Heritage. Football games at any level (high school, college, or professional) do not often see a performance by any individual that would be described as perfect, but the performance by Kyler last Friday would fit that description.
Kyler was that rare personality that made time for everyone and always seemed to have a smile on his face for anyone he came in contact with. Being associated with him and having covered him for football has been an honor for Mascot Media. Springdale Head Coach Zac Clark summed up how people felt about Kyler; “They didn’t love him because he caught touchdowns. You know he was certainly a great kid and a great friend.”
The impact Kyler Williams had on everyone in the community of Springdale and in the surrounding area has been clearly on display during the course of this week. Springdale students, parents, and friends of Kyler gathered at Jarrell Williams Bulldog Stadium on Sunday to remember Kyler and pay their respects. The funeral service for Kyler on Wednesday was standing room only, with people overflowing into the lobby of Christian Life Cathedral. This Friday night it will be a “Red Out” when Springdale High School takes on Har-Ber. Other “Red Outs” will be taking place around the Northwest Arkansas area, to allow friends and students to pay respect to Kyler and his family.
On Friday night, the Springdale community will come together once again, to remember Kyler and pay respects to his family and friends. Both Har-Ber and Springdale will attempt to win the traditional rivalry game, albeit with heavy hearts this time. The community has lost a terrific young man, but has come together in the fashion that everyone expected. Springdale has three high school teams; Shiloh Christian, Springdale High, and Har-ber. The #3 jersey worn by Kyler Williams is fitting. Even though Springdale may have three schools and three teams, Springdale is one family and nothing is stronger than family. Rest in Peace Kyler.