Nonie Williams Signs With Angels

Two best friends from Kansas hope to continue their friendship with the Los Angeles Angels organization. Nonie Williams and Cole Duensing are now living their childhood dreams.

ANAHEIM -- Two friends, both 18-years-old, spent their Friday morning sitting and watching a computer screen. It wasn't a funny YouTube video marathon, or checking Facebook, or a school project, like many their age would be doing while sitting at the computer. Instead, the simplicity was to listen for as long as they could, until they heard both of their names called.

Nolan Williams and Cole Duensing crowded a living room for the second day of the Major League Baseball Draft, hoping to hear their names called. The two had played together since they were nine-years-old, and were best friends. Both were now hoping to hear their names and soon be a signed contract away from professional baseball players.

What happened that morning was beyond their wildest dreams.

Third round, 96th overall pick, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim select Nolan Williams, Shortstop, Turner High School.

The room exploded, Nolan now had the opportunity to become a professional baseball player. The next step, his best friend, Cole. Then, a moment scripted only strictly in sports' poetry.

Sixth round, 186th overall pick, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim select Cole Duensing, Right-Handed Pitcher, Blue Valley Northwest High School.

The two Kansas prep players, and best friends, were both headed to Anaheim, to become professionals on the diamond.

"It's unbelievable," said Williams. "I'm surprised it's not a bigger story."

Nolan "Nonie" Williams began his professional career on Tuesday afternoon, putting pen to paper, and officially signing with the Angels for an unconfirmed $950 thousand. A home school student who took one class at Turner High School to become eligible for the 2016 draft, is now a representative of the Angels organization.

"Baseball was my escape, I got all my social life through baseball."

When he was a child, his little sister - one of three - had trouble saying his first name, "Nolan," and ever since, he has gone by the nickname, "Nonie." In years to come, "Nonie" could soon be playing with his favorite player growing up, along with his best friend, Cole.

"[My favorite player] was Derek Jeter, and it made the Yankees be my favorite team. After he retired, I moved over to Mike Trout, and became an Angels fan the last couple of years."

Williams has worked with retired player, Jeremy Isenhower, on his switch-hitting abilities over the years, and will now head to Tempe, Arizona to be coached by professionals to an even higher level to lift his game. However, even Nonie knows his strongest assets and tools on the baseball field, some being things that won't leave for some time.

"I'd say my two biggest strengths are my speed and base running. Batting, sometimes you're in a slump, errors happen, but my speed never takes a day off."

"I need to work on my overall hitting. I think I can get some more power. Never worked with a hitting coach so that's something I'm excited about... Left-handed, I tend to get out in front and roll over a lot, and [Isenhower has been] helping me stay back on the ball."

Duensing has yet to sign, but signs point in the direction he will soon, and join his best friend, Nonie, at the professional level.




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