H.S. FOOTBALL | Lafayette DL Tackles Adversity To Play

09/07/2017 01:46 PM

Take a look at the Lafayette Generals football team, you wouldn’t notice that any one different payer was different than the rest

“I just decided to play one day and I’m on the team now,” explained sophomore defensive lineman Will Watkins.

Watkins just picked up football this season. He didn’t have any past experience outside of little league, he just loved the game.

“I enjoy football a lot. It’s like, really fun. It’s a really fun sport to play,” Watkins told Spectrum News.

He was diagnosed with a mild form of autism when he was in elementary school, but putting that helmet on is the great equalizer. Out there, Will isn’t different, he’s just a General.

“I just try to pay attention to the game and stuff. Like I just try to look at the game and watch the team and how they play,” Watkins said.

On the field, he just has ability, rather than a disability.

“Will has done a great job. He’s accepted the challenge of being a General football player and he’s having a lot of fun at it,” said head coach Eric Shaw. “It’s a lot of fun to watch him participate and grow as a player.”

Watkins agrees.

“I don’t let it take over me. I put that in the back of my head and I just play.”

He isn’t letting his condition hold him back.

“Feels good. I get to play with the players and have made a lot of new friends on the team,” Watkins said.

He hopes he can show others you can do anything you set your mind to.

Watkins and the Generals are back in action Friday night, hosting Frederick Douglass at home. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. eastern.

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