The clock is ticking down. The ball is snapped. The quarterback gets the ball, looks down the field, sees the open receiver and throws. Touchdown Highlanders.
Sophomore Gabriel Watson has been a huge contributor to the Piedmont football program so far this season.
Watson said that prior to the Albany game on September 13 he had three touchdowns and so far he has had nine touchdowns total as of the October 5 game versus Richmond.
“My goals for this season are to win our league, make it past the first round of playoffs, and have over 1,000 rushing yards,” Watson said.
Watson said that he and sophomore Connor Addiego are the only two sophomores on varsity this season.
“It feels great to have the coaches believe I can hold my own against upperclassmen and contribute towards the team,” Watson said.
Head Piedmont football coach Scott Coats said Watson is a great, hard working kid.
“He dedicated himself to getting stronger and faster in the weight room and during offseason workouts,” Coats said.
Coats said that Watson is a very dedicated football player.
“This dedication has paid off as he is our top rusher, one of our leading receivers and a very important defensive player,” Coats said.
Watson said that the weightlifting and conditioning prior to the start of the season made a difference in his playing.
“It’s an amazing feeling knowing that the coaches trust me to hold my own against upperclassmen,” Watson said.
Watson said he is working to enhance his football skills.
“The only thing I can do help continue with my success is to keep working hard in practice and improve my skills as a player,” Watson said.
Senior Spencer Kim said that as quarterback he has learned to trust Watson and the other receivers.
“I trust that they will catch every pass and make me look good,” Kim said.
Kim said that during practice the team works together really well and works on the weekends running routes to build the relationship between the quarterback and the receivers.
“We all support [Watson] and make sure he knows that we’re all a family even though he’s just a sophomore,” Kim said.
Both Watson and Kim said that they are looking forward to the rest of the football season.
“I’m looking forward most to homecoming and having all my friends and family watch me play against a tough opponent that will really test our team’s skills,” Watson said.
“Hard work pays dividends, natural talent only goes so far,” Coats said. “Players need to dedicate themselves to getting bigger, faster and stronger in the offseason. This kind of commitment leads to success.”
Kim said that he is enjoying his last high school football season as a quarterback.
“It’s been a great experience learning to improve my skills as a leader and team builder,” Kim said.