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Former ACS Coach Janice Williams is Section VI Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee!

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AKRON CENTRAL SCHOOLS
Athletic Department

47 Bloomingdale Avenue • Akron, New York 14001

Ph: (716)542-5088 • Fax: (716)542-5018 • www.akronschools.org

 Mr. Stephen Dimitroff
MS/HS Assistant Principal/Athletic Director 
Mr. John Jablonski
Athletic Coordinator

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –

 

FORMER ACS COACH JANICE WILLIAMS IS SECTION VI ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE

 

Coach Janice Williams AKRON, NEW YORK (August 27, 2019) – Janice Sackett Williams, a leader in the fight to gain more acceptance and attention to women’s sports and an advocate for what became Title IX as well as long-time Akron High School field hockey coach who led her team to become New York State champions in 1992, will be inducted posthumously into the Section VI Hall of Fame during the 6th annual induction ceremony and dinner to be held on Friday, December 6, 2019 at 5:30PM at The Columns Banquets, 2221 Transit Road, Elma, New York.  Williams is the first Akron coach to be inducted.     

     According to a Buffalo News feature article from November 19, 1992 just prior to her team’s departure for Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) State Championship, Coach Williams was the nation’s fourth winningest high school coach at the time, with a 269-71-31 record that had begun in 1966.  The tally may have even been greater but the school had not researched the 16 years prior during her career at Akron Schools that began in 1952.  Her teams earned eleven Niagara-Orleans Championships, nine Section VI Class B or C Championships, and three Regional Championships before winning the state title.

     Born in Riga, New York, Janice graduated from Churchville High School in 1942 and then attended Lock Haven State Teacher’s College where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education in 1946.  In addition to her duties as a Physical Education teacher, she coached all girl’s sports including basketball, swimming, synchronized swimming, softball, and cheerleading as well as JV and varsity field hockey.  Opportunities for competition were limited, so Jan organized “play days” which were held at various schools on Saturdays, providing the opportunity for “inter-school” competition.  Times as they were, she drove the girls to these events and her compensation was negligible. 

     Coach Williams is considered to have been a major proponent for the development of women’s field hockey in Western New York.  She was passionate and dedicated, helping to run summer camps and taking her athletes to the summer camp in the Poconos where Miss Constance Applebee, the woman who brought field hockey to the US was in residence, coaching and instructing.

     Known for her generosity, Williams made sure that athletes were able to attend camps or festivals even if they could not afford to pay. She also provided scholarships for many of her athletes – many of whom have coached or still coach field hockey at the high school or college level.

     Williams was also involved with the Empire State Games both as a coach and as a member of Section VI.  She earned many accolades including Section VI Outstanding Coach, Niagara-Orleans Foundation Award, Honorary Member of the Buffalo Field Hockey Association, and First Team Member of Lock Haven State Teacher’s College Field Hockey.  She was dedicated to her many professional affiliations that included the US Field Hockey Association, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education & Recreation, the Buffalo Field Hockey Association and others.

     Upon retirement, she, along with six or seven other women from all over the US, traveled to the Olympics, Pan-Am Hockey tournaments and other tournaments throughout the world, serving as volunteers for the US teams.  “The Golden Girls,” as they were referred to, cleaned off seats, welcomed guests, helped with registration – anything that needed to be done – along with cheering on the US Women’s Field Hockey teams.

     Sadly, Janice Williams passed away in 2015; her niece, Alexandra Spaulding, will accept the Hall of Fame award on her behalf.  Akron’s current field hockey coach and former student-athlete of Coach Williams, Mrs. Mary Borden, will give an introduction to Mrs. Williams’ meritorious service to women’s sports at the event.

     Thirteen other athletes, administrators, coaches, officials or contributors from Section VI will be inducted to the Hall of Fame with Williams on December 6th.  The evening will commence at 5:30PM with a cash bar and dinner followed by the induction ceremony.  Dinner reservations are $30 per person. Reservations must be made by Wednesday, November 19, 2019 to http://www.section6.e1b.org/HOFRSVP  or Pauline Turski at pturski@e1b.org or (716)821-7581. For more information about the Section VI Hall of Fame visit http://www.section6.e1b.org/HallofFame.

 

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