By: Matt Rothman
Monarch High School’s Dylan Williams has so much to be proud of this season.
Despite having autism, Williams was a member of Monarch’s Track and Field team, and not only has he shined in the classroom, he’s a star on the track.
After spending the entire year with the team preparing for the Special Olympics, the coaching staff worked him into all sprint routines with target times to hit.
The hard work paid off after he finished first in the 100 meters, long jump, and the 4 x 100 relay on April 9.
Recently, he competed in the state games and finished in the top four in all of his events, including coming in second in the relay.
Williams, who is in the Exceptional Student Education program at Monarch, has been guided by his mother, Kalebra Jacobs-Reed. She made it clear that Williams should not be treated differently from the other team members.
“He may need a few more breaks and a little more direction, but the team, as a whole, makes sure that Dylan gets the opportunity to perform,” said Head Coach Dione Hester.
His teammates ensure Williams is in the correct lane and heat when in the clerking area. However, some opposing athletes caught on that Williams has autism. Some have been supportive — while other students sometimes laugh, point or snicker.
That never stopped Williams from doing what he loves. The coaching staff worked him into all sprint routines and gave him target times to hit, and he did.
Not only has he shined on the track, but Williams also has a 3.8 GPA. The senior is set to attend Florida International University next fall.
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- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and then graduated from the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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