After a tumultuous season of quarterback injuries, Westlake is in the playoffs with an 8-2 record, facing San Antonio Reagan (9-1) in round one this weekend. Coach Todd Dodge has found his most consistent offensive weapon in junior running back Nakia Watson.
Watson exemplifies what it means to be a Texas HS Football athlete. Despite the absence of consistently healthy shot-callers, Watson has totaled 1237 yards on the season and has scored a touchdown in eight consecutive campaigns — giving the Chaps their best running option in years.
Texas HS Football sat down with Watson in an exclusive interview:
You went from 133 total yards last season to 1237 yards so far this year. What changed?
Nothing has changed. I have always tried my hardest and supported the program that I am working in. The system and the coaches at Westlake have been extremely supportive of my progress.
What has Todd Dodge and the coaching staff taught you that’s allowed you to evolve into a consistent offensive threat?
Coach Dodge says everyday, “It’s a great day to be a Chaparral.” It means work hard everyday at being the best you can be and doing the best you can. That quote has been my focus.
With four different quarterbacks this season, how have you adapted and played so consistently?
Even when the quarterbacks change, I still have to run the play the same way. I try to be consistent.
What are your expectations for the playoffs?
Obviously, everyone wants to win the state championship, but we are focused on one game at a time.
Westlake hasn’t won a State since 1996. Did you meet members of that championship team? What was their advice to you?
Their advice to the whole team was to play together, trust each other, and compete as a complete unit.
Who are your football heroes?
My football heroes are Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams, University of Georgia) and D’Onta Foreman (UT).
How much credit do you give the o-line for your success?
Everything starts with them. They are directly responsible for making the play develop.
What do you like to do outside the football field?
It’s football season, so my focus is mainly on football. I also really like sleeping.
What’s your favorite exercise at the gym? During your workout, what songs are you jamming?
My favorite exercise is the bench press. I like music, so any song that keeps it fun works for me.