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Williams makes history for Galli, Pittsburg

Rashid Williams practices at Pittsburg on March 3, 2021. Gregory Moreland-Tuhn / Staff Photo
Rashid Williams practices at Pittsburg on March 3, 2021. Gregory Moreland-Tuhn / Staff Photo

Victor Galli has never seen someone like Pittsburg sophomore athlete Rashid Williams.

Galli, the Pittsburg leader who is entering his 19th year as a head coach, never had a freshman play for him before last season. He’s moved freshmen up to the varsity ranks for the playoffs, but none of them ever played.

With Williams, as soon as he arrived on campus, he was different. When players get to the school, Galli and the coaching staff love to take a look at the players and see what they are like and have them workout in front of the coaches.

Williams popped off immediately and became the first freshman to ever play varsity for Galli.

“We’ve moved freshmen up for the playoffs and different things, but I’ve never had a freshman play for me,” Galli said. “He had a really, really good year last year and was sharp for us. And just his growth, his maturity growth, but his overall body. He’s so much bigger. He was a pretty good sized kid last year and now is just so much bigger.”

Although Williams wasn’t going to start right away, he was going to play, and after an injury to a starting receiver, Williams was thrust into the starting role.

And he certainly seized the opportunity.

In Pittsburg’s 11-win season, which culminated with another Bay Valley Athletic League championship and a trip to the North Coast Section Division I championship game, Williams developed into one of the region’s top players despite being a first-year high schooler. He finished with 272 receiving yards and five touchdowns, with his 272 receiving yards the 11th-most of any California freshmen, according to statistics available on MaxPreps.

Sprinkled in there were four games of 30-plus yards and one 90-yard effort in a 24-21 regular season victory over Liberty, who won a state championship the year prior in 2018.

Galli expects even more from Williams.

“He’s going to be a monster,” Galli said. “It’s scary to think what he’s actually going to be when he becomes a senior. But he’s going to be pretty scary this year.”

Over this offseason, Williams has let Galli’s words ring true, adding to his repertoire through 7-on-7 tournaments he was competing in for much of the offseason.

One thing Williams said he added to his game was speed.

“Really with my speed I know last year I was fast, but I needed to get it up, and I feel like I got it up for this year, so I think I’ll be good,” Williams said.

Williams, like his teammate and sophomore quarterback Jaden Rashada, is a top 100 prospect nationally, as 247 Sports tabs Williams as the No. 77 prospect nationally in the 2023 recruiting class.

Six colleges have offered Williams: Arizona State, Arkansas, California, Oregon State, San Jose State and Utah.

“It’s been a blessing,” Williams said. “Just really excited and stuff. Sharing it with my family and stuff, just stuff like that.”

With Pittsburg’s five-game regular season beginning at 7 p.m. March 19 versus Freedom, Williams is setting more lofty goals.

“My individual goals I want to have about let’s say I want like 10 touchdowns and 1,000 yards in the five games,” Williams said. “And then our team goals are to go 5-0.”

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