ON THE MARK: Williams thankful for loving and supporting parents: Column

Mark Martin
Mark Martin

At the West Virginia High School State Track & Field Meet of 1993, Cara Starkey had just bowed out of the high jump competition.

As a senior, her days in that event ended abruptly. It wasn't the finish she had hoped for in her field specialty.

One could tell she was visibly upset.

“I better go see her,” father Ron, who was and remains one of his daughter’s biggest fans, said at the time.

There was a happy ending as Cara would rebound later in the day by running an important leg on the 4x400 meter relay team.

Not only did she and her teammates win the event, the victory in the meet finale allowed Ravenswood to propel to the top of the point standings and claim a fifth title in six years under coaching greats Jim Mahan and Bryan Canterbury.

Her father and mother Amy being there for her through the years is something she’s grown accustomed to and appreciates more and more all the time.

She is now Cara Williams and the mother of three boys. Williams is also a grandmother.

Her busy life also includes being a coach.

She just wrapped up another season of guiding her alma mater’s girls basketball program.

And for the second time in her tenure, Williams directed Ravenswood to the state tournament.

Ravenswood girls head basketball coach Cara Williams looks on during her team's state tournament game against Parkersburg Catholic. It marked the first time Ravenswood had been in the event since 2012.

Ravenswood fell in its opener to eventual state runner-up Parkersburg Catholic.

While she would have preferred to continue coaching in the event, Williams did enjoy watching the remainder of the tournament with dear old dad. It’s become a tradition down through the years.

Her parents enjoyed watching her coach in the state tournament for the second time — with her first coming in season number one back during the 2011-2012 campaign.

“Both of my parents have always supported me through my high school days until now,” Williams said.

Missing games in which Cara either played or now coached has been rare for Ron and Amy.

A problem with a vehicle tried to stop the streak of watching games when she was playing for Ravenswood under Butch Varney, who is now her assistant coach. But ultimately, they saw a good chunk of the action.

“They only missed half a half of a game when the car broke down on the way to Braxton County one year,” she said.

Ron and Amy's devotion to their daughter has continued as she patrols the sidelines of the Red Devilettes.

“They have missed very few games since I became a coach,” she said.

It’s what family is all about.

“It’s a family affair with us,” Williams said. “We talk about the games.

“I go up (to her parents’ home) and sit and talk about the game and what happened. The frustrations and certainly the celebrations.”

Which included a narrow, 14-11, win over Buffalo in a Class AA regional co-final sending Ravenswood to the state tournament.

The Devilettes fended off the stall tactics of the Lady Bison to reach the Elite Eight of Class AA.

“I am a lucky person that I have the parents I do,” she said. “Parents that have supported me in whatever I’ve done and that love the game. It’s hard to put into words what they mean to me.”

But those who know Cara are fully aware of the love she has for dad and mom. And the love is coming right back at her.

With basketball now in the books, Williams turns her attention to another sport near and dear to her heart — track and field.

She will once again serve as an assistant with the boys program this season.

One can bet, Ron and Amy Starkey will be around to help out in some form or fashion ... just like always.