Hannibal’s Williams named Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year

Hannibal Pirates senior Aneyas Williams (22) runs towards the end zone for a touchdown during the class 4 State Quarterfinal game between the Hannibal Pirates and the Lutheran North Crusaders on Friday November 17, 2023 at Lutheran North High School in St. Louis County, MO  (Rick Ulreich, special to Muddyrivernews.com)

Hannibal all-purpose back Aneyas Williams has been named the Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year. | Photo courtesy Rick Ulreich

HANNIBAL, Mo. — The best player in the area has been named the best player in the state.

Hannibal all-purpose back Aneyas Williams recently was named the Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year, becoming the first player in school history to receive the nationwide recognition. 

The Gatorade Player of the Year award was established in 1985 to recognize the nation’s most elite high school student-athletes for their athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Williams was a four-time Class 4 all-state selection who was named the Class 4 Offensive Player of the Year by the Missouri Football Coaches Association after a record-breaking senior season.

The University of Notre Dame commit was as dynamic this season as he’s ever been, leading the Pirates to an 11-2 record, North Central Missouri Conference and district championships and a state quarterfinal berth.

Williams rushed for 1,415 yards and 26 touchdowns, averaging 8.4 yards per carry. He also caught 44 passes for 815 yards and 17 touchdowns. He returned one interception and two punts for touchdowns, and he converted five two-point conversions.

In his career, Williams rushed for 4,255 yards and caught 177 passes for 3,249 yards. His 152 career touchdowns ranks second in Missouri State High School Activities Association history.

Williams, who graduated at mid-term and is enrolling at the University of Notre Dame this semester, carried a 3.76 GPA at Hannibal.

He is the second area player to receive a Gatorade Player of the Year honor. In 2018, Quincy High School running back Jirehl Brock was named the Gatorade Illinois Player of the Year after rushing for 2,158 yards and 33 touchdowns.

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