JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman men's basketball forward Sawyer Williams (Owenton, Ky.) knows how to dunk, to effectively seal off penetration into the paint and the best practices for siring a champion show goat.
A prolific men's basketball player for Carson-Newman, the All-SAC forward and the Eagles' 23rd 1,000-point scorer has also garnered his fair share of ribbons and medals as a goat farmer in his home state of Kentucky.
"I've always lived on a farm," Williams said. "I started with sheep and then moved on to a few goats. I really liked it, then I started showing them. It's grown from a few goats to around 40. I enjoy raising them, I enjoy taking a mother and father goat and taking a goat they produce and competing against other farmers."
Williams is working toward becoming a vet and animals have always interested him. It's something he works to pass on to the children around the greater Owenton, Ky. area through 4H.
"I really like to watch kids progress from a small interest in livestock to transforming that into a full on interest in goats," Williams said. "I make sure a lot of kids have 4H animals to take to shows, giving them the stuff that they need to know to further their interest in it. My favorites are the ones who get so interested in it that they start researching them and telling you stuff about it."
A 2015 Allstate NABC Good Works team nominee, Williams' father and brother help take care of the goats while he is away at college. Williams has won countless medals and ribbons for his efforts.
"I try to compare it to a dog show," Williams said. "The goats that I show are judged on meat. You want a well-structured goat with a lot of meat, and a goat that carries that meat well."
The senior even draws comparisons between prepping for a show and prepping for 40 minutes on the hardwood, albeit their mostly mental.
"It's competition," Williams said. "It has its own variables. Much like basketball, there's preparation, but your preparation is so much longer. You're showing one product, but you may have three to five years built into that one product. When something wins, it's a big payoff."
Even with a herd, there are goats that stick out, including Williams favorite, which passed away last September.
"I didn't actually raise him, he was a purchase," Williams said. "His name was Chester. He sired 15 or 20 daughters that I have now. He was a great goat to judge. But his personality was fun. He knew his named and acted like a dog.
"You get attached to them. There's always a money value on them, but they can become like pets. Sometimes their money value makes it difficult to keep them, I had one I had to sell recently because its value outdrove my attachment to it."
Williams said he'll continue to show and raise goats well after his graduation from Carson-Newman in May, however his future is with veterinary sciences.