If things go according to plan, the Waskom Wildcats have their quarterback for the next four years.
Freshman Cole Watson started his first ever varsity game in the season opener against Garrison where he went 4-for-4 for 103 yards and three touchdowns, adding another 55 yards rushing and a touchdown on seven carries.
“I knew it was going to be different but I feel like I had a good game and I felt like I had the confidence to go in there and play together as a team,” Watson said.
A week later, the Wildcats were just moments away from the scheduled kickoff time before their game against San Augustine was canceled. Then just last week, Waskom was set to take on Shelbyville but the Dragons had to cancel due to COVID. Instead, the Wildcats went head-to-head with the Carthage JV squad and came away with the 41-7 win.
After that game, Watson now has twice as many touchdowns as he has incompletions as he is currently 6-of-8 passing for 164 yards and four touchdowns.
“Throughout the summer, I got some really good work in,” Watson said. “I was prepared really well by my coaches and we executed well.”
“He’s been a leader for us for a long time in the junior high football program, he’s my defensive coordinator’s son, so he’s been around the game forever,” Waskom athletic director and head football coach Whitney Keeling said. “There was a really good competition between three quarterbacks at the beginning of the year and he won the job. He performed really good two weeks ago and we expect nothing but great things from him.”
When asked what the best advice he’s been given is, Watson said, “It’s a game. It’s the same game you’ve been playing all your life. It’s just a little faster now but it’s the same game.”
The young gunslinger said he has already learned valuable life lessons through the game.
“Hard work gets you a long way, and determination and a good attitude,” Watson said. “If you believe in your team that you can do anything, than you can do it.”
Even though he’s a freshman, his teammates respect their quarterback as a leader of the team.
“He’s not a real vocal person but he commands the huddle,” Keeling said. “Those kids respect him.”
“My son, when he was growing up, he had a speech delay, so he still has trouble saying some words and he can’t say, ‘Watson’ at all,” Waskom offensive coordinator Jeremy Kubiak said. “So he calls him ‘Cole Waskom’. I’m like, ‘That guy is going to be the quarterback of our team one day’ and he’s been calling him that since he was in the seventh grade. So as far as I’m concerned, the quarterback of the Waskom Wildcats’ name is ‘Cole Waskom.’”
Watson and his Wildcats are slated to return to action tonight when they travel to Arp to take on the Tigers. The contest is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.