Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Feb 24, 2018

William Penn football signs two Pekin Panthers

By Justin Webster | Feb 09, 2018
Photo by: JUSTIN WEBSTER/Ledger photo Pekin seniors Slater Williams, bottom left, and Monico Requena, bottom right, signed with William Penn University Tuesday to extend their football careers for four more years. Williams plays Center while Requena was the district’s Offensive MVP while playing running back and returning punts and kickoffs.

Two of Head Coach Brent Blakely’s Pekin Panthers will be extending their football careers into college as they signed a letter of intent to attend William Penn University in Oskaloosa and play football for the Statesmen. The Fairfield Ledger was on site at Pekin High School when the two signed their paperwork and spoke with the seniors about their big days.

 

Slater Williams, Pekin senior, center

What do you like about playing Center?

Williams: My assignments are usually pretty simple and straight-forward so I don’t have to think a whole lot, I get to just go play football.

 

When did the recruiting process start for you?

Williams: It really started this season after we went 8-2 and since we had a better season, more people were looking to get our players.

 

What schools recruited you?

Williams: William Penn, Coe, Central, and a couple other schools like that but I really only looked at William Penn because my sister went there, so I already had an idea of what to expect. When I went and looked at the campus, I actually enjoyed it and that’s how I made my final decision.

 

Talk about the opportunity to extend your career into college.

Williams: Since I started playing football in sixth grade it’s been something I’ve been hoping to do past high school, and now I’m getting the opportunity and I don’t know how to describe it.

 

Talk about extending the family legacy at William Penn.

Williams: I don’t know how to describe it other than four more years of having to deal with my sister. Just go have fun and hang out with her and enjoy it.

 

How are you feeling on your big day?

Williams: I’m at a loss for words.

 

What’s left for your senior year now that this decision has been made?

Williams: I’m just going to keep it up in the classroom and keep working on finishing with a higher GPA than what I came into this year with. Try to make it to state in track, stuff like that.

 

What do you want to study?

Williams: Physical Education.

 

Is your dream job gym teacher?

Williams: Gym teacher/Football coach, anywhere I can get in and affect kid’s lives

 

So we might see you in five years on Brent Blakely’s sideline?

Williams: Hopefully. That’s the goal.

 

 

Monico Requena, Pekin senior, running back and kick/punt returner

Talk about your big year being named district Offensive Player of the Year.

Requena: First I just have to thank the line. All year they were good and gave me holes to run through. On the special teams side of things they always gave me blocks to let me do what I got to do.

 

When did the recruiting process begin for you and who was involved?

Requena: The first school to officially talk to me was William Penn. I also had Coe, Central, Simpson, Iowa Central and Buena Vista a little bit. William Penn is somewhere I’ve always wanted to attend and with them being the first one to get ahold of me, I really thought we had a bond from the get-go.

 

Why did you always want to go there?

Requena: I always liked the environment. It’s close to home and family is a big thing to me. Just being able to drive 30 minutes to see them is a big deal. I like the campus and the athletic facilities they have there and I’ve heard nothing but good things from William Penn.

 

Talk about having a familiar face in Slater to go through the process with?

Requena: Yeah, Slater is going there too and we might have another couple Panthers join us, but just having some old teammates to play with for four more years is something amazing.

 

What does Panther Pride mean to you?

Requena: Panther Pride is a big thing. Just being able to go out there and rep that Panther every Friday night was special. I will always remember the fun times I had with the boys on Friday nights.

 

Where might you fit into William Penn’s scheme?

Requena: They run the option and use speed, and at Pekin we use speed a lot this year too. I just want to go in there and use my speed to help us. Break those outside runs and long sweeps. I think that’s where I’d help the most, on those quick sweep-type plays.

 

Is there any fear that there’ll be a bunch of Monico’s when you get to college?

Requena: No, I mean if they can work harder than me and deserve the spot then go ‘head, but I’m going to get bigger and stronger and faster and whoever deserves that spot is going to get it.

 

What do you want to study at William Penn?

Requena: I’m thinking between athletic training or some kind of technology like communications. I’m not for sure yet.

 

Would you ever come back to Pekin and help continue to build the program?

Requena: Oh yeah, I definitely want to coach and see it in my future and would love to come back to Pekin and coach football, basketball, track and be back in this loving environment.

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