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Utah Archers acquire Cole Williams in trade to bolster Championship Series lineup

By Zach Carey | Dec 11, 2023

With the 2024 Championship Series nearly two months away, the Utah Archers traded for Denver Outlaws midfielder Cole Williams this past Friday in a move meant to bolster their 12-man roster ahead of February’s competition. While he was in and out of the lineup this past summer, Williams made his mark at The St. James last February with 18 points en route to winning the league’s inaugural Sixes tournament. 

It was Williams’ performance against the Archers in the semifinals that put him on the staff’s radar with his five-goal night the highlight of his week individually. In that game, how well he absorbs contact and keeps chugging towards the cage stood out. He consistently muscled his way into the middle of the Archers’ defense and found paydirt.

In a format that is so reliant on winning individual matchups, Williams’ size at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds and his ability to free his hands and fire will be a welcome addition for the Archers. 

“Being left-handed, for this game, makes a difference,” said Utah Archers Head Coach and General Manager Chris Bates of Williams’ impact on the club’s Sixes roster. “His size and skill is a unique combination. He’ll be a tough matchup and can fit in well with how our guys are going to complement each other.”

Ultimately, being balanced between right-handed players and left-handed players is a goal for the Archers in their roster construction for February. Alongside Ryan Ambler, Williams puts them one step closer to achieving that offensively. 

Looking ahead to the 2024 regular season, Williams will be a free agent after Champ Series. While Bates emphasized that the club is most immediately focused on putting the best 12 guys on the field in February, he also said that there’s a benefit to “seeing his skill-set up close and personal and then seeing how we can help it develop.” Bates added that “it affords him a great opportunity to work with our guys, get to know our guys, and work with our coaching staff.” 

To acquire Williams, Utah had to say goodbye to attackman Connor DeSimone who had been with the team since 2022. DeSimone played well for the club in the 2023 Champ Series and, before that, impressed in Grant Ament’s absence due to injury in the 2022 regular season. 

“We’ll miss him,” said Bates. “We’re excited that he gets an opportunity [with Denver]. Within our roster it was always tough to break the lineup, so hopefully this gives him the chance to because he deserves it.”