Short in stature, tall on dreams

He may be low on altitude, but Khris Williams is high on attitude — the good kind. The kind that makes you believe that he sees his 4-foot-1 stature as nothing more than a number on his driver’s license.

What matters most is his heart, and you’d be hard pressed to find a bigger one.

“It doesn’t matter what size I am, I always believe in myself,” said the effervescent 19-year-old from North Carolina.

“It’s how I’ve been raised. Everybody has been there for me, supporting me and making me how I am now.”

Although he’s aged out of the Balls Creek and Southfork Bassmasters youth programs in which he cut his competitive teeth, Williams maintains ties with these clubs as he plots his course for a professional fishing career. He’s also forged a friend/mentor relationship with Bill Frazier, conservation director of the North Carolina B.A.S.S. Nation.

Having shared a boat with Williams more than once, Frazier said he’s been impressed with who Williams is on and off the water.

“Khris is very hard to deny,” said Frazier. “He’s a very likeable person and a very methodical fisherman. He’s thoughtful and considerate off the back of the boat. He has the personality and the skill to succeed.

“He doesn’t think he has any problem going all the way to the Bassmaster Elite Series — and I believe him. He has a winner’s attitude.”

Williams said he thrives on tournament competition and values its sharpening effect. “There’s always a need for improvement and I believe that with every tournament, I get better.”

Sounds good, but Williams backs that up with practice, practice, practice. Since 2004, he’s spent three hours a day, several days a week casting baits at a bucket in his back yard.

Such is the dedication of someone who won’t settle for talking about his dreams. He’s intent on living them — and it’s hard to bet against such a winning attitude.

“If you’re a failure, it won’t get you anywhere,” Williams said, “but good things always happen to good people.”