Father and son duo lead Golden Eagles to great heights

Father and son duo lead Golden Eagles to great heights
Published: Oct. 22, 2022 at 12:15 AM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -This week, Western Mass News spoke with the coach of the nationally ranked Springfield Central Golden Eagles, and his son, who leads the team at quarterback.

“What is it that you guys do better than the other teams?” Western Mass News asked.

“Win. We win,” said William Watson, head coach at Springfield Central High School.

Coach Watson is not wrong. The Springfield Central Golden Eagles are coming in hot off their third consecutive state title win and are now a nationally ranked powerhouse.

In addition to having some of the greatest athletes in the state, they also play with an edge.

“There are things these kids go through that harden them and it’s unfortunate, but it benefits them in other ways. It makes them mature quicker,” Coach Watson said.

He said signing day is the more important than any win.

“It is an emotional day. You think back on when you first met the kids. The process, the tough times, and the good times. The biggest day of our football program is when these kids sign and go to college,” Coach Watson said.

Signing day was extra special this season since Coach Watson’s son, William Watson III, also known as “Pop” by his teammates, is set to play quarterback for the Nebraska cornhuskers. While Pop has all the accolades, including being named “Massachusetts Player of the Year,” his dad said it is his confidence that sets him apart.

“Every team he plays on takes on the personality of we are already the champions and we just have to let everyone else know,” said Coach Watson.

Despite having offers to play at prep schools Pop explained why he decided to stay local.

“We have been getting overlooked for so long. Too long. I feel like if everyone stays home, we can do something big out here, and that what we are doing,” Pop said.

He said it’s not all fun and games playing for his dad.

“Playing for your father, he holds you to a different standard than everyone. If you miss one thing in practice… Ah man, that’s the worst,” Pop shared.

Pop said his older brother, Justin Reid, a highly recruited running back at Putnum High School, was a major influence on his success.

“You watch him be successful, and now you feel like you have to do the same thing. But he was always pushing me to better than him. He taught me a lot too,” he said.

Coach Watson told Western Mass News he could not be prouder of his son and his story sends a message to the community.

“It shows kids we can build a great program in our city and be as successful as anyone else,” he said.