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Watson Exemplifies group effort

Pirates - 2007 Season
Posted Thursday, November 15, 2007 by Matt Patterson - The Oklahoman

If there was a poster boy for Putnam City's all-for-one, one-for-all mindset, it might be quarterback Nico Watson.

Only thing is, PC (10-1) doesn't do poster boys. The Pirates don't have stars, and they don't blind anyone with flashy play. Their brand of football is meat and potatoes. Individuals need not apply.

All of that will be tested at 7:30 Saturday night, when they face top-ranked Tulsa Union (11-0) in the quarterfinals of the Class 6A playoffs.

Watson is where it all begins for PC. The senior has 687 yards rushing and 318 passing. His stats aren't eye popping, and the senior couldn't care less.

"To me, as long as we get the win, I don't care what kind of stats I have, Watson said. "That's everyone's attitude. They don't care who gets the TD as long as we win games.

Putnam City coach Mark Little has coached for years, but few teams he's had can match the selflessness of his current group. Watson stands for that style of play as much as anyone on the roster.

"Nico exemplifies our team attitude, Little said. "He has a quiet confidence and strength. He does whatever it takes for the team, and he's never worried about himself. He's someone that's a leader who other kids want to play with and win with.

Watson wasn't winning many games last year. The Pirates went 4-6. This season, all of the sweat and early mornings in the weight room last winter, spring and summer were nearly dashed. Watson suffered a sprained ankle in PC's first intra-squad scrimmage. After recovering, he was stricken with mononucleosis, which could have benched him for the season.

"I couldn't even get out of the house, Watson said. "I lost weight. I was weak and couldn't move. It was terrible.

Once he recovered, nobody was happier than Little. The coach had seen Watson battle injuries for most of his career, only to recover and then get hurt again.

"To see him go through a season relatively healthy is special, Little said. "He's been through so much, a lot of people might have given up. He's a tough kid.

He'll need to be tough against Tulsa Union. The Redskins will be heavy favorites when the Pirates visit Union-Tuttle Stadium on Saturday night. But again, Watson isn't exactly in awe.

"They're a great team and number one for a reason, he said. "But they don't scare us. We don't get intimidated. We just play our game. They're 17 or 18 years old just like we are.

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