The Prep Players Spotlight is a weekly feature of the Times Free Press that highlights five area high school athletes whose performances since the previous Thursday stood out.
Devotis McCurdy, Hixson
The senior heavyweight and gridiron standout was an absolute force on the wrestling mat this past weekend in Franklin, helping the Wildcats to a third-place finish in the TSSAA Class A-AA state duals. McCurdy wasted little time in winning his four heavyweight matches by pin in a total of one minute, 49 seconds. In the final two matches he tied a state record by pinning an opponent in six seconds, followed by an 11-second pin.
Will Jackson, McCallie
Jackson helped the Blue Tornado aquatics program capture its 21st state championship by swimming to All-America standards. The Tennessee signee blazed through the water winning all four of his races this weekend at the state championship meet. Jackson defended his 500-yard freestyle title (4:24.29) and also won the 200 free (1:35.76) and helped capture first-place for his 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams.
Kara Williams, Cleveland
Williams has become a lethal sharpshooter for the Lady Raiders in her junior season. A 24-win Oak Ridge team had no answer for her as she drained four 3-pointers in the opening eight minutes to lead a signature home victory on Tuesday. Williams scored 21 points in the first three quarters to help build a significant lead. She has been drawing college interest and is a key contributor on an 18-win team.
Connor Duffy, Baylor
A nationally ranked wrestling program steamrolled its way to a second straight Division II state duals title last weekend. Baylor outscored its competition 184-35 and once again received stellar leadership from its 182-pound senior. Duffy won all three of his matches by first round pin (1:07, 0:34, 1:00). He has been a leader to look up to for freshman standout Omaury Alvarez, who won two matches at state with third-round pins.
Jacob King, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe
Despite dealing with several injury scares throughout the season, the Warriors have made for an unforgettable season. Honoring the late and long-time LFO coach Jerry Jones, King helped a program which had not had a winning season since 2013-14 win the Region 6-AAA title. King scored 18 points to lead LFO (23-4) past North Murray and into the state tournament.