Brains and brawn: Chambersburg Trojan football star Kellen Williams is described by coach Mark Saunders as being  kind of like a coach on the field  and
Brains and brawn: Chambersburg Trojan football star Kellen Williams is described by coach Mark Saunders as being kind of like a coach on the field and possessing a good overall knowledge of the game. (Public Opinion photo illustration/Markell DeLoatch/Noel Kline)
At the beginning of the 2012 football season, Chambersburg Trojans coach Mark Saunders called Kellen Williams "the best athlete in the school."

Saunders had high expectations for his senior wide receiver/cornerback, and he certainly was not disappointed.

Williams had the best season of his career, catching 32 passes for 753 yards, scoring 74 points, tallying 49 tackles and bringing down a team-leading four interceptions.

His ability to be a two-way threat earned him the honor of Public Opinion Football Player of the Year.

"He runs good routes, and he understands what he's doing. He's kind of like a coach on the field," Saunders said. "Kellen also played really well on defense. He understands how to cover people because his overall knowledge of the game is good."

Playing for more than 12 years has certainly taught Williams about the game of football. He's so knowledgeable about the sport that it doesn't faze him to have to play two ways.

"I've always had to do it, even as a sophomore in high school, so I really don't think it's that hard anymore," Williams said. "I have a little speed, and my ability to go up and get the ball when it's thrown to me is a definitely a strength."

Williams' offensive stats speak for themselves. He was the Trojans' leading receiver, averaging more than 23 yards per catch. His 753 receiving yards was good enough to be the area's leader. He had four games with more than 100 yards receiving, and he caught 12 touchdown passes to be the area's third-leading scorer.


But what is not always seen on the stat sheet is his sheer intimidation factor on defense.

"He's always been quiet and mild-mannered, but he's got a natural aggression, and he will hit you," Saunders said. "The most impressive thing was at the CV game - the hit he made on their tight end. That wasn't even his guy, but he was in a zone, and he saw the route coming and he went after him. That was a great hit."

Defensively, Williams totaled 49 tackles - good enough for third on the team. He led the team with 27 solo tackles. As for his secondary coverage, in addition to his four interceptions, he also tied for first on the team with four passes broken up.

As a senior, Williams said he put a lot of weight on his shoulders to be a leader both on and off the field.

"I put all the pressure on myself to get that winning season," Williams said. "That's what we've been working for, but pressure's always good."

Being a senior has also allowed Williams to pass down his knowledge to some of the younger players.

"I just try to tell them to always work hard," Williams said. "As a younger kid, you can get off with talent. But at this level, everyone is going to catch up to you unless you keep pushing yourself and trying to be the best you can be."

With his high school career winding down, Williams has a big decision to make in the coming weeks. Not only is he a star for the Trojan football team, he is also vastly talented at basketball. Last year, he was the Public Opinion Boys Basketball Player of the Year. He now must decide between his two passions.

"It's going to be down to the wire," Williams said. "I just love both sports, but I do hope to make a decision by mid-December."

According to Saunders, Williams has had some interest expressed from Towson, Richmond, Bloomsburg and some Mid-American Conference schools.

"It will get interesting for him because I believe he'll have some other D-1 schools going after him," Saunders said. "He has a lot to offer, and I think he'll keep getting better and better."


Lizi Arbogast can be reached at 262-4788 or