Juice Williams and Illini football team entertain lively Atkins Tennis Center crowd

By Alex Iniguez

With the Illini men’s tennis team thrilling the crowd Friday night, the football team decided to share in the excitement.

During the intermission between the doubles and singles portions of the men’s tennis match against No. 36 Duke, eight members of Ron Zook’s squad took to the Atkins Tennis Center courts for some friendly competition.

Quarterback Juice Williams stole the show with his partner in crime, Chris James, against the freshman duo of quarterback Jacob Charest and 283-pound lineman Ryan Sedlacek. Williams and James entertained the audience with a healthy dose of smack talk on their way to a narrow victory against the freshmen.

“I want to thank Chris James for the win tonight,” Williams said. “I also gotta thank Daniel Dufrene and Rahkeem Smith for doing their thing over there. And lastly, I just want to thank the fans. Without them, we wouldn’t be here doing this. Go Illini!”

James got right to the point with his post-match comments.

“Well, look, I was the main player, come on,” James said.

In the other match, the veterans made it a clean sweep against the rookies, as the backfield tandem of Dufrene and Smith handily defeated another team of freshmen, Justin Staples and Hubie Graham.

“For the record, we let ’em win,” Graham said.

The event added a little extra energy to an already electric crowd and gave the fans an opportunity to see some of the school’s biggest stars having fun on a personal level.

“It’s always fun coming out and doing this,” Williams said. “It’s something a little different, it takes us out of our comfort zone, but it’s always fun. There’s only a few things in life that compare to football, so no tennis career for me. Maybe for my daughter or something, though.”