Williams Record 2000 Athletes of the Year

Rebecca Brooks ’00 was voted Female Athlete of the Year. She was a goalie on the women’s soccer team, forward on the Williams women’s basketball team and a thrower on the track and field team. She was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III All-American team and First-Team All NESCAC in basketball.

Briefly describe how you got involved with the three sports you play at Williams?

I’ve been playing soccer since first grade. Soccer is a big sport in my town and all over Connecticut. I didn’t start playing on a team for basketball until fifth grade, but that was always a sport that I played for fun elsewhere. Track I didn’t really pick up until high school, but that I always knew I would do because my father coached it at my high school and both my brothers did it there and then in college.

What led you to choose Williams as the college you chose to attend?

That’s always something that people have wanted to know, because I decided on the very last possible day and then had to Fedex the decision to the school to get it there on time. It came down to Middlebury and Williams, and how I made the decision I don’t really know. I think I tossed a quarter. But when I was looking at schools, I was looking for small schools on the East coast with good academic and athletic reputations, so obviously Williams fell into this category. It also helped that my brother [Ethan Brooks ’96] went here.

When you entered Williams, did you ever expect to be as successful at your three sports as you have had over your Williams career?

It’s only natural to hope that things will work out great when you go to college. When you’re in high school, you’d like to think that things will only get better, especially the things that you really care about. I’m not saying that things have worked out perfectly at all; there are many things about my athletic career that I would have liked to change.

As briefly as you can, how would your describe your athletic experience at Williams?

My athletic experience has been one of the best experiences I have had at this school. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of three teams that have been very successful at Williams, which has made the experience that much better. And I feel that I have had the opportunity to improve over every year, which is a very important aspect to athletics. And I’ve also made some of my closest friendships through sports.

What has been your most memorable athletic experience at Williams?

If I had to choose one, I would probably say making it to the Final Four in soccer this fall. That was a first for me, and an experience which I will definitely never forget. Being able to compete against the top three soccer teams in the nation in Division III and being able to do that at home was an amazing experience.

What will you remember most about Williams and what advice would you give to current and future students of this school?

What I’ll take away from this school the most is definitely the friendships I’ve made. And not just the friends you live with or your teammates, but also the coaches who you’ve spent the last four years with. It’s weird to sit back and think about how many people you’ve met in your four years. That will definitely be the hardest part about leaving this school. To incoming students, my only advice would be to relax and enjoy your four years here. It goes by so much quicker than you think and before you know it it’s over. So don’t stress about things that aren’t going to matter in the long run. And if you find something that you love, stick with it and do the best you can with it because there’s no better feeling than accomplishing your goals.

Sean Keenan ’00 was QB of the Williams football team and led the Ephs to a 7-1 record this year a NESCAC title and a share of the Little III title. He was named ECAC New England player of the year and NESCAC Offensive player of the year. He also set or tied 13 WIlliams passing records this year, including most yards in a career and pnd most completions in a career. He was the first Eph to be invited to participate in the NFL Scouting Combing and will vie for a QB position with the Arizona Cardinals when they break camp for the 2000 season later this year.Keenan also played forward for the Williams men’s basketball team and was ranked as the 39th best athlete from Vermont over the past 100 years by Sports Illustrated.

Briefly describe how you got involved with the sports you play.

I have had an interest in both football and basketball since I was very young. I didn’t start playing organized basketball until fifth grade and it became my first love. In Vermont, we don’t have organized full contact football until high school so I wasn’t able to start football until my freshman year. I was indifferent to it at first but eventually came to enjoy it as much as basketball.

What led you to choose Williams as the college you wanted to attend?

Williams was an ideal fit for me because it is so close to home and because of its great reputation for athletic and academic success. I was looking for a Div. III school where I could receive a great education and have the opportunity to play both football and basketball. Williams stands above all other schools that fit that criteria. Honestly, though, I didn’t know how happy I would be here when I first came, but it has been the best four years of my life, and I can’t imagine it working out any better.

When you entered Williams, did you ever expect that you’d be trying out for an NFL team four years later?

When I first came to Williams, I wasn’t sure how my athletic career would turn out. I went to prep school for a year after high school to see if I was capable of playing at a higher level. Entering Williams, I just hoped I could contribute to the football team and maybe see a little playing time. I never would have imagined achieving what I have and being in the position I am now to possibly keep playing. My success is mainly the result of the great players I have played with and the quality of the coaches that have helped me along the way.

As briefly as you can, how would you describe your athletic experience at Williams?

My athletic experience at Williams has helped me learn more about myself than I ever thought possible and has allowed me to form relationships that I will value for the rest of my life.

What has been your most memorable athletic experience at Williams?

It is tough to pinpoint one. All of the victories against Amherst the past two years really stand out. I think the homecoming football game against Amherst this past fall will be one of the experiences that I always remember because it was my last game on Weston with all of the other seniors and personally (and as a team) I was able to overcome some great adversity and help our team win. It was the perfect way to end a career.

What will you remember most about Williams and what advice would you give to current and future students of this school?

I will remember the unbelievable people at Williams. I have made such great relationships here and learned so much from all of the teachers, coaches, and administrators that I have come into contact with. I would tell people here and those who come to not take this place for granted and to enjoy every minute because there are only a fortunate and select few that get the opportunity. I have learned that when you are surrounded with great people, it brings out the best in you as well. That is Williams’ greatest quality.

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