On a team that has a multitude of skilled wrestlers, Ron Williams of Kennedy High School has clearly become the best at his trade.
Now in his fourth year on the Cavaliers' wrestling team, the 185-pound Williams has reversed his high school career from one of little success to one of superiority.
In his freshman year, Williams compiled a 2-15 record.
As a sophomore, Williams improved to 14-7.
As a junior, he was 21-5 and won Montgomery County and Region I titles.
Now, as a senior, Williams' goal is to become a state champion. And he's on his way with a 15-0 record through matches of last weekend.
"He is a very smart wrestler and he has the physical equipment to wrestle any way," said Kennedy Coach Duke Beattie. "He is capable of wrestling a very intellectual match. He's probably more of a scientific wrestler than anything else.
"His progression in the sport has been super and he has come along remarkably over the past four years. He differs from a lot of guys in that he knows what's going on on the mat at all times. He knows just how much time is left and whether or not he's trailing or leading."
Williams also is an excellent football player and should have a number of athletic scholarship offers to consider. An outside linebacker, he was instrumental in Kennedy's state championship in 1984.
"When we won it in football, it was great," he said. "But to win a state title in wrestling will mean so much more."
Despite his recent wrestling success, Williams knows he needs a lot of improvement.
"Coaching was the number one thing that helped me become successful in wrestling because I didn't know anything about the sport and I didn't do anything on my own. Another thing is that I know that I'm not any good, so I listen to everything that I'm told. Some people think that they know what they are doing and don't need any coaching, but I listen to everything that I'm told and I know that I have to improve."
Although Williams may not lose this winter, he's aware his undefeated status this season could end with any outing.
"He is very humble," Beattie said. "He never walks around thinking that he has arrived. He may lose sooner or later, but it won't be because he's cocky. He knows that any guy could beat him on a Wednesday or Saturday night."
Competing as the favorite has been a new experience for Williams.
"It gives me more confidence (being the favorite)," said Williams. "I never went into a match confident. I used to be so nervous that I'd be tired.
"This year, I've been more relaxed and I have been able to think more about what I'm doing. I used to go into matches wondering how good my opponent was, but now I know that I'm a champion, so it gives me more confidence."
Williams' parents and coach have been his biggest boosters. "My parents used to come see me wrestle even when I was getting my butt beat every week," said Williams. "Coach (Beattie) has taught me never to give up and to keep on fighting."
Williams said that his sporting idol is Muhammad Ali.
"I admire him because I like how he carried himself," he said. "He was a big mouth and I'm not a big mouth, but he used to talk a lot and then go back it up inside the ring. He was the champion."