’Jackets senior made state four times in volleyball
Favorite subject: government classes
Sport: volleyball (4-year letter winner)
College: WVU in Morgantown
Major: exercise physiology
Family: Dusty and Connie Watson (father and mother); brother Dakota Watson, half-brother Brandon Baylor
Question: When did you start playing volleyball.
Answer: In the sixth grade. So this year would be seven years.
Q: How’d you become interested in the sport?
A: Well, I started out playing basketball and softball. (Laughs) And I was doing cheerleading, but I really didn’t like cheerleading. So, I was thinking about another fall sport that I could do, and I tried out for the middle school team for volleyball. And I really liked it.
Q: I understand you’re a setter?
A: Ah, I’m a libero.
Q: A libero is mostly defensive-oriented?
A: Yeah, I mainly just play in the back row. (Laughs) I can’t jump.
Q: Have you always been a libero?
A: I started being a libero in my junior year. But I was always back row since freshman year. That’s really helped play that freshman year and just growing up with the sport.
Q: What’s the most challenging aspect of playing the libero position?
A: There’s a lot of ground to cover. So, you have to read the hitters carefully. You have to play smart at that position, because you have to think where the ball’s going to go.
Q: Quickness helps?
A: You’ve always got to be moving.
Q: I can imagine that some of those hits are pretty hard?
A: (Laughs) You have to have some reflexes.
Q: With you on the court, the Williamstown Yellowjackets have enjoyed quite a bit of success, haven’t they?
A: (Smiles) We’ve been to state all four years since I’ve been here. And, we won the state championship my freshman year. We’ve won regionals, LKC (Little Kanawha Conference), and sectionals a few years, too. It’s been a successful time here. I’ve been very lucky with my teammates.
Q: You were just recently at state?
A: Just this past weekend (Friday, Nov. 10). We played Ritchie County, and it went five sets, but we lost. It was tough, but I’m really proud of my team for getting there. It was a big step that we made it there.
Q: How many seniors were on your team?
A: We only had two this year. Me and Tori Tadlock. They’ll be good next year, too.
Q: Would you like to play volleyball in college?
A: I’ve thought about it. But I’d probably have to go and try out… It wouldn’t be at West Virginia but at a small school.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your volleyball career at Williamstown?
A: It was definitely the championship in my freshman year when we beat Tyler Consolidated. It was a great feeling knowing I started off with a hard-working team. It helped me like…I was a captain this year…and it taught me then how to lead by example.
Q: So, what will you being doing the rest of your senior year?
A: Well, I’m done with sports, now. Volleyball’s over. Now, I’m working.
A: I work at Original Pizza Place in Marietta.
Q: Ah, you’re making some money?
A: (Laughs) Try to.
Q: Who’s helped impact your sports career at Williamstown?
A: My brother Dakota. He’s always been a good example, like always try your hardest. Senior leadership is very important.
Q: What’s Dakota (former Williamstown football and baseball standout) doing now?
A: He’s at WVU. He’s in the same major exercise physiology.
Q: Besides working, what else do you do off the playing field? Any hobbies?
A: I go to the gym and work out and stuff. I usually do that. And, I go to other sporting events (at Williamstown), like basketball games. Then, I work mostly.
Q: You don’t golf or anything?
A: (Laughs) Nah. My dad wishes I could golf, but I can’t.
Q: Did you consider any other colleges besides WVU?
A: I also thought about West Liberty. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go a big school or small school. I pretty much decided on a bigger school.
Q: Do you watch any volleyball on TV?
A: I watch it when it is on TV most of the time. Sometimes, it’s not. It’s really interesting to watch.
Q: Any concluding thoughts?
A: Williamstown’s treated me well. It’s pushed me in my academics. It’s been special to me to play volleyball and be a part of a team. I’m sad it’s over.
Ron Johnston, email@example.com