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New PHCC point guard not without confidence

Dwyane Williams wears his personality on his sleeve. Actually, it's on his arm.

The point guard for the Pasco-Hernando Community College men's basketball team has the words "Pretty Boy" tattooed on his right upper arm. And though he smiles when asked if the reference is to his good looks, the sophomore swears it has all to do with his game.

"I'm a little fancy, creative," said Williams, who got the tattoo his senior year at Brooksville Central High. "I'm all behind the back and through my legs."

And straightforward in his confidence in assuming leadership of a team that finished 22-10 last season and as Suncoast Conference champion.

The leadership spot opened with the graduation of Wesley Miller, who is now at Virginia Union after averaging 9.8 points and 5.3 assists last season.

In fact, Williams, who averaged 3 points and 3 assists behind Miller, is the only new starter on this year's squad, which opens its home schedule at 7:30 tonight against Florida College. The team won two games over the weekend in the Santa Fe Classic at Gainesville, beating Brunswick (N.C) 98-38 and Martinique 94-57.

For Williams, though, the thought of taking the point is about as scary as, well, getting tattooed. In other words, he sees it as a chance to build on the Pretty Boy legend.

"I don't look at it as I have big shoes to fill," he said of Miller's departure. "I'm just going to go out and play my game and fill my own shoes, which are pretty big right now."

Coach Bobby Bowman agrees _ to a point. He said Williams does have big shoes to fill. But where Miller's shoes were conservative and not given to extravagance, Williams' are flashier, and, with a little polishing, could become dazzling.

"He knows how to play," Bowman said. "He's jet quick. He's probably the quickest player on the team. He's going to create a lot of turnovers with his defense, and he pushes the break really well."

He's also smart enough to know he's not alone on the court. "I feed off the other guys," Williams said.

And he has a lot on the table. Returning starters include sophomore guard Robert Langston (14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, first team all-conference); sophomore wing Ryan Callahan (16.0, 5.0, first team all-conference); 6-foot-5 sophomore forward Willie Jones (14.0, 10.5, first team all-conference); and 6-8 sophomore forward Jarrod Hill (7.0, 8.0, 1.5 blocks, first team all-conference freshman).

It is a versatile team that counts on its inside players to post high and low, and even spread to the wing. It is an experienced team that shouldn't rattle in close games.

And it's a team that expects to at least repeat as conference champ. "We did it last year," Hill said, "and we'll do it this year."

SKI COUNTRY: The PHCC volleyball team has an added incentive as it heads to the state tournament Friday and Saturday at the Kissimmee Civic Center. According to freshman Amber Ridgon, who lives in West Valley City, Utah, her father Mike, who couldn't be reached for comment, has offered to pay for the team to go skiing if it wins the state tournament and advances to the nationals to be held Thanksgiving weekend at Utah Valley State College.

"It's the best thing. It'll be the biggest rush," said Amber, who is more inclined to snow boarding. "Some of the team has never seen snow."

"I've never been skiing before," said Tiffany Twaddle, who is from Dallas. "It's an added bonus. She (Amber) keeps saying it's so great. It gets you pumped up."

Speaking of which, coach Heidi Grunwald joked that she's preparing a Knute Rockne-like speech for PHCC's opening state tournament game against FCC-Jacksonville.

While her players said Grunwald gets much credit for their 22-8 record and 13-1 streak, it is not because she's a fire-and-brimstone speaker.

"That would be a major change," Twaddle said. "I'd wonder if she had a lot of caffeine that morning."

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