Profile: Pioneer’s Cam Williston turns his full attention to water polo

Cam Williston makes it clear, not only in his words but by his actions, that swimming is his go-to sport. And he’s making quite a go of it already in his first two years at Pioneer High School.

Last year as a sophomore, Williston helped lead the Pioneers to an impressive sixth-place finish at the D-1 State Finals after taking ninth in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:39.44. He also was a member of the Pioneers’ 400 freestyle relay which finished fifth in 3:08.79.

A year older, wiser and stronger, look for those times to fall and the finishes to improve during his upcoming junior year.

But one can forgive Cam for not worrying this week about his stroke, his turns or his times in the pool. He is focused on his “other” sport – which he also is quite proficient at. 

“My mom first got me interested in water polo, when she had me go to a few practices over the summer before I was in eighth grade,” Williston said. “I became a manager for Pioneer that year, and I have continued with the sport ever since.”

Williston will continue with the sport for one more weekend in 2019. He was Honorable Mention at the Regionals held earlier this month at Birmingham Seaholm and helped send the Pioneers to this weekend’s State Finals at East Lansing High School.  

“Our goal coming into the season was to make it to states since no one on our team had made states before,” he said. “It was not only a team goal but a personal goal since we had made Regionals the past two years, but that’s where our seasons ended.”

The Pioneers were one of the top teams this season in an area loaded with the best teams in the state including Dexter, Huron and Skyline – the three other east teams headed to States with Pioneer.     

“I think the key to our success has stemmed from two things, our amazing coaching staff and how close our team is,” says Williston. “Our coaching staff consists of four coaches, each with a vital role in our program. We have a dryland coach, Jessie Deucher, who is with us in the mornings down in the weight room, and helps as much as he can on the deck in the afternoons.

“Then we have a goalie coach, Sabrina Hartwell, who has greatly improved our last line of defense before a goal is scored. Then, an assistant coach, Evan Reynolds, who coaches JV, at the start of the season but then shifts his focus to varsity during the postseason.

“Lastly, our head coach, Don Packard, who is a new coach this year and has helped this team tremendously through his new views on the sport.”

Packard was named Regional Coach of the Year.

Williston also credits the team’s closeness and chemistry as reasons for their incredible success this year. “Our team frequently goes to local dinners before tournaments, such as Benny’s and Dimo’s,” he said. “We really like to hang out together and have fun.”

Cam, the son of Bethany Williston and Mike Blommer, swims during the summer for the Plymouth Canton Cruisers (PCC). “I only play water polo for the high school season, for the rest of the year I swim,” he says.

Williston started swimming competitively when he was just 4 years old.

“I started at my summer league pool, Huron Valley Swim Club,” he said. “I started to swim year-round at age 10 at PCC. I have been on the Pioneer swimming state team for the past two years, both years I made the 500 freestyle, and last year I also made the 200 freestyle.”

Williston plans on swimming in college and studying political science.

Right now, however, all his focus is on water polo and seeing how the Pioneers can navigate the challenging waters at the State Finals.