LaGrange’s Watson joining championship program
Published 12:35 pm Monday, May 7, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
In the world of NCAA Division III football, Mount Union is synonymous with winning.
Since 1993, Mount Union (Ohio) has won an astounding 13 national titles, including one last season.
Chris Watson, a senior at LaGrange High, is about to become a part of that extraordinarily successful program.
Watson announced his decision to join the football program at Mount Union during a ceremony last week in the LaGrange High media center.
Many of those who have helped Watson reach this point, including family members, friends, teammates, coaches and teachers, were there to celebrate the moment with him.
“I want to thank God, my family, my friends, coaches, and teachers, for bringing me along on this journey, and guiding me the right way, and helping me keep making good decisions,” Watson said.
While the 2017 season was a challenging one for the winless Grangers, Watson managed to stand out as a defensive back.
With his combination of speed, jumping ability, football smarts and physicality, Watson enjoyed a standout senior season.
It didn’t go unnoticed.
A handful of colleges showed an interest in Watson, including Mount Union, an NCAA Division III school in Ohio.
“I was at a basketball game one night, and they had called me and asked me if I could come up for a visit,” Watson said. “I came up for a visit, and I really liked the school. They were friendly people. And a couple of weeks later, they offered me, and I took up their offer.”
Dialleo Burks, LaGrange’s head football coach the past four seasons, is proud of the growth Watson has made as a player, and a person.
Burks stepped down following the 2017 season, but he has continued to try to help find a college home for his players.
“Chris, you have really transitioned to a fine young man,” Burks said. “You talk about LaGrange High School and what we tried to do here as a coaching staff, and what we want our guys to stand for, you hit that mark 100 percent. “
Whether we had a community-service project, or anything that we wanted to do outside these walls, Chris was always there, with no hesitation.”
For Watson, getting the opportunity to play college football is the fulfillment of a long-time goal.
“This means the world to me,” Watson said following his signing ceremony. “I’ve always watched signing days, and I’ve been waiting on it my whole life since I started playing football.”
Watson was also a standout in track and field at LaGrange, and he finished 11th in the state in the triple jump as a junior.
Now, Watson is ready to make some new memories at his soon-to-be college home in Ohio.
It’s a long way from LaGrange, and Watson is fine with that.
“As long it’s an opportunity for me and my life, distance doesn’t really matter,” Watson said.
OF NOTE: For more photos, check out Facebook.com/LDNSports