’Jackets senior places emphasis on team

Photo by Jordan Holland Williamstown’s Tim Wickham competes in a hurdles event during the Marietta Night Relays earlier this season at Don Drumm Stadium.

WILLIAMSTOWN — After Saturday, Tim Wickham realizes he will never compete for Williamstown High School ever again.

While it could be a sad day as it sinks in that it’s over, the senior is taking a rather pragmatic approach.

“I won’t be sad because I’ll know I did my best and hopefully we will have won,” he said.

Wickham, who hopes to help the Yellowjackets repeat as the West Virginia Class A State Track & Field champions in Charleston, will be competing in the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles. He’ll also join WHS teammates — Bradey Fayad, Kyler Sutton and Trevor Hoosier — in the shuttle hurdles relay.

Wickham finished first in both individual events at the Class A regional meet. He cruised in the 110 with a time of 15.86, and held off a challenge in the 300 with a time of 41.11. While he hopes to do well individually, his focus is on helping the team.

“The ultimate goal is a team title,” he said. “That’s really what we’re trying to do. That’s what we are all going for this weekend. It’s going to be tough, though. Doddridge and St. Marys are both really good.”

Williamstown edged St. Marys by one point to claim last year’s championship — 60-59. Doddridge County was third with 51 points.

The Yellowjackets have a shot at repeating because of talents like Wickham, who hopes to parlay his running exploits into four more years of competing in college. He has narrowed down his choices to West Liberty University, University of Charleston and Wheeling Jesuit University.

“I’m hoping to continue competing in track,” Wickham said. “I’m still trying to find the right fit. I’m planning to major in chemistry. I’d like to be a chemical engineer or go into pharmaceuticals.”

Wickham won the 110 hurdles as a sophomore with a time of 15.74 and finished fourth as a junior with a time of 15.62. He finished third in the 300 intermediate hurdles last year in a time of 40.58. The previous year he was seventh with a time of 42.45.

“I think I’m running as well as I could be right now,” Wickham said. “The whole team has been practicing hard every day. We’re getting ready for state.”

Wickham was also a member of the Yellowjackets football squad that won the 2014 Class A state championship. He was on the varsity all four years, and played a bigger role for Terry Smith’s team as a receiver and defensive back the past two seasons.

“He started both ways for us this past year,” Smith said. “You could count on him. Each year he got a little better and he worked hard. When he was a sophomore, he wasn’t really that high on our depth chart. As the season went on, though, we realized we needed to get him on the field and he ended up playing a lot in the state championship. One of those things that we knew we had to get him in there. He’s a smart guy and he knows what’s going on.”

Wickham said he cherishes the moments he had on the football field as much as the track.

“When you are around those guys all of the time a bond gets created. You just want to be with those guys all of the time and you want to win,” Wickham said. “I didn’t play football until I was in eighth grade. I played for five years and four of them on varsity. Football really helps with discipline. I loved it and being in that locker room with all of those guys is something you can’t take away for the rest of your life.”

And when it all comes to end on Saturday, Wickham knows he’ll keep in touch with his former teammates.

“I guess it’s pretty easy these days with all of the social media, so it won’t be bad,” he said. “You can get a hold of anybody at any second with it, and I’m sure I will.”