Joel Diaz & Richie Williams Selected for the All CUSD Football Team

Two of ACP’s fabulous football players were selected for the All CUSD Football Team, with six players being named Honorable Mention. On the First Team All CUSD Defense, our very own Joel Diaz (11) was selected as the defensive back. For the First Team All CUSD Offense, newcomer Richie Williams was chosen as the running back. The All CUSD Honorable Mentions include Kellen Gibson, Bryan Dyson, Keaton Messerole, Bryce Chen, Mark Chavez, and Saar Zutshi.

Steve Chadwick
Joel Diaz after the game against Gilbert Christian earlier in November.

Joel, a junior here at Erie, has been on the football team for three years now, since it was first started in 2017. I asked Joel for a quick interview about his recognition and he happily complied. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: What does it mean to be selected for the All CUSD Football team?

A: The All CUSD Football team awards basically recognize the best players at each position in the district. So of all the CUSD high schools (ACP, Chandler , Hamilton, Casteel, Perry, Basha, etc.) the best quarterbacks, wide receivers, defensive backs, etc., are selected and recognized with this award. If they were to make an actual team with kids from all these schools, the players who made All CUSD would be on that team. 

Q: How did you feel when you found out?


Steve Chadwick
Joel in possession of the ball during the game against Odyssey in September.

A: I was super excited when I found out that I made 1st team. It’s not an easy thing to get, and I was really proud of myself. I work extremely hard and am constantly trying to improve my craft, so being recognized for this was awesome. It was also super cool because CUSD is probably the best football district in the state, Chandler having won the last three state 6A titles and being in the Open Division championship this year, Hamilton making it to semifinals in the Open Division playoffs, Perry and Basha being playoff teams in the 6A bracket, and Casteel going to the semis in the 5A playoffs. They’re all exceptionally great programs, and me being recognized along with players from those schools, a lot of which have DI FBS offers, is a huge honor. Getting this award against competition like that was awesome.

Q: How long have you been playing football?

A: I’ve been playing football since probably third or fourth grade. I only played flag until high school though.

Q: What do you enjoy the most about it?

A: I love the family, or the people on my team. They are my brothers and I love going out on the field and playing, especially knowing that I’m playing with them. We are all super close off the field, too. I also just love the game and the adrenaline rush of playing under the lights, making plays and hitting. There is nothing better. I love the game.

Steve Chadwick
Richie Williams at the ACP vs Chandler Prep game.

Q: What inspired you to play?

A: Nothing specifically inspired me; I was just kind of naturally good playing flag football. I enjoyed playing, and then once I got to high school, I fell in love with the family aspect and the game itself. However, I will say that my coaches have made my football experience a million times more awesome.

Richard Williams, known around campus as Richie, is new to ACP. Richie, who plays running back and linebacker, also agreed to an interview.

Q: How did you feel when you found out that you were selected for the All CUSD Football Team?

A: I think what’s special about football is playing the game and doing what I love. This accolade just sort of happened.

Richie during the Chandler Prep game in August.

Q: How long have you been playing football? Why did you start playing?

A: I’ve been playing since I was in third grade, but I didn’t actually start developing and playing like an elect starting player until around seventh grade. At first, it was something to fill my time when I was younger, but then it became something that I could get an education out of. It’s a way to get to college.

Q: How was the shift between leaving your old school and adjusting to life here at Erie?

A: It wasn’t all that difficult.  I originally wanted to attend ACP, so adjusting to life here was fairly easy.

Q: What do you think of ACP so far? Do you like it here?

A: It’s a small, quiet school. I love it.

Congratulations to both Joel and Richie on this amazing accolade! Good luck in the 2020-2021 football season. Great job, Knights!