Searching for Downtown Prodigies: William Solomon is a Lion on the Field

02 Mar 2015 | 04:23

    By Beth Mellow

    William Solomon's greatest love-so far, after all, he is only 15-is football. And boy, is he good at it. The sophomore at Xavier High School near Union Square was recently nominated by the New York Post as New York City's top high school running back.

    Solomon was part of his high school's undefeated junior varsity football team in 2010. Recently, he helped his team clinch the regular-season division championship, earning three touchdowns and a two-point conversion in a single game.

    According to his coach, Chris Stevens, it is not typical to see a player as young as Solomon performing at that level on the football field and playing in both defensive and offensive positions with equal success. Stevens explained, "His ability to come through on both sides [defensive and offensive] of the game as a sophomore, long before we expected him to, is a testament to his versatility and maturity as a player."

    Although Solomon has been a football prodigy since grade school, he isn't your typical sports-focused jock. "I'm not just here for football. Xavier didn't choose me just for that, but because I work hard in the classroom," he said.

    In fact, despite a rigorous six-days-a-week practice schedule, Solomon boasts an impressive 90-plus average in almost all of his classes. He coyly admitted, "Latin is my toughest subject. It's the class that I struggle to maintain an average in the 80s."

    William hopes his dedication to football will not only pave the way to a career in sports but to a college education. "I play football to be the best," he said. "I'd like to play in the pros, but football is not all I have. As my mom says, it's not just about football. It's about academics, and football is just a way to get there."