WHEATLAND – Some say that she has ice in her veins and that her name is apropos.
Icle Williams, or “Ice” as they call her in an interesting sport for a young girl who has not yet reached her teen years. When other girls her age may be cheerleading (which she also does) the love of her life in athletics is boxing.
She’s a USA sanctioned boxer and she’s good at what she does. What makes her dangerous is that she shows no fear in the ring and drawing blood only draws her ire, but never tears.
“I lived here for most of all of my life,” she said matter-of-factly as if she was 40. “We actually moved here when I was two. I was actually born in Colorado. I don’t remember it, but I do have a deep memory way back.”
From the mouth of the youngster, you get a sense of being in the presence of someone quite a bit older and the wit has been honed obviously in another lifetime because when she speaks it’s as if she orates from years of experience that help to hone the dry humor.
“My earliest recollection I can remember was when we were all living in our house out on Ridge Road,” she said. “We got ice cream. When we got back, we were not allowed to eat our ice cream and I had eaten mine. I had ice cream all over my face and told my parents I didn’t eat it.”
After early recollections of ice cream nightmares, she settled in to become a normal well-rounded Wheatland youngster. She participates in raising chickens and turkeys and at school has straight As and became a cheerleader.
When she turned seven, she decided that she wanted to be a boxer. At that age, most girls are trying to figure out the next accessory to the Barbie Playhouse, but Ice was looking at pink boxing gloves. Now, although she is rough and tumble on the inside, the outside is the portrait of a feminine little girl.
That likes to box.
“My brother went over and checked out a local boxing club,” she said. “After he was there a week I became curious and wanted to go see what it was like. I thought it was kind of weird that we even had a boxing gym in town.
She describes the first visit to the gym as something of an eye opener, but something about it was mysterious and adventurous.
“Our old gym was like right across the street (From the boxing gym they now own, Spirit Gloves Boxing and Fitness),” she said. “it was just like… IN AN ALLEY. In a basement and going down the steps you couldn’t see anything because it was dark and it was a narrow staircase. And of course we were picking my brother up at 8:00 at night. It was a little creepy.”
It was then that Ice met her coach for the first time, who at that time was her brother Josh’s coach.
“The coach asked, ‘so why aren’t you boxing,’” she said. “And I said, ‘cause I’m a cheerleader.’ He told me that I could still try boxing and he’d never had a boxing cheerleader. And for each of my coaches it was different. To my cheer coach I was a cheerleading boxer and to my boxing coach I was a boxing cheerleader.”
Ice is currently taking a break from cheerleading and dedicating herself totally to her sport of boxing, but she is also on the middle school track team.
Taking the role of a boxer, she said comes with a lot of “funny” comments. Comments like, “oh don’t make her mad,” and “she can knock you out,” or “she’s really good in the ring.”
“Yeah, I’m always hearing that,” she said with a grin. “But I want to ask them, ‘have you actually ever seen me box?’ Now, see, I love to box and I’d say I’m OK. People wonder if I box because I have anger issues or you don’t like the person you’re boxing, or do you love to beat other people up? Not necessarily, no.”
The Organization that Ice and her mother, Carolyn Williams are both sanctioned through, USA BOXING, is an organization that treats people with respect and teaches and encourages the fine art of pugilism as both a hobby and a profession. It’s also becoming almost as big for female boxers as it for male boxers.
“When I first started boxing, I was only seven, and began sparing when I was eight,” she said. “Then it was hard to fight against someone you had made as a friend, but now, I know it’s not hard to beat somebody up. That’s worded a little wrong, but it’s not hard to step into the ring and feel like I’m going to win. You have to kind of step into a different state of mind. You have to have your confidence, but not your rudeness or arrogance.”
The elder Williams has only been boxing for a little over a year and in that period of time she has become sanctioned to box and to be a judge. The commonality in the ring creates a very strong bond between mother and daughter. To a degree, they are learning the sport together, and Ice considers her mom a mentor in and out of the ring. They also both consider each other co-owners of the Spirit Gloves Boxing and Fitness center.
Ice talks about the plans and modifications that they have planned for the little gym at 602 8th Street. It’s like a dad and his son building a tree fort, but this is a mother and daughter building a boxing establishment and fitness center.
Mother and daughter haven’t just created an exercise gym, but a training facility for Ice’s career and also a place where mother and daughter can teach not only boxing, but self-defense, exercise, nutrition and challenge the sedate lifestyle of those with no activity in their lives.
As Ice reflected on siblings and parents, she waxed sentimental as her father, Chad just landed a new job as a professional baseball umpire which will have him on the road for months at a time.
“I am close with my mom,” she said with tears in her eyes. “I’m really close with my mom. And I do love my dad a lot and that’s going to be hard because he might not be here for a while. My dad and I like to joke around a lot so we’re close like that.”
As far as her schedule goes, the plan is to get as much experience as possible.
“Right now we’re signing me up for as many matches as we can get,” she said. “We’re matching me everywhere. The Casper coach is trying to do a match every two or three months. We are all about matches, matches, matches because I really want to do the nationals and junior Olympics next year. To do that you have to have a certain number of matches.”
She is working hard to get there, and as she continues to sweat and spar with her youth coach and her mom, she should be in great shape by the time she has her first match this summer.