Community Captain: Asa Watson

Asa Watson, senior tight end at Rock Hill (Rock Hill, SC) High School, has been selected as a Carolina Panthers Community Captain.

Watson, rated as one of the top tight ends in the Carolinas, is also near the top of his graduating class academically and participates in various activities that make a difference in his community.

Watson (6-foot-4, 210 pounds) has received scholarship offers to play football at Boston College, Duke, Georgia Tech, Maryland, and NC State, among others. Watson's athletic ability runs in the family. His father, Ken Watson, played football at Maryland and his brother, Ben Watson, played football collegiately at Georgia and currently plays tight end for the New England Patriots.

On the football field, Watson is a leader and understands the responsibility of being in a leadership position. "Every good leader must know the meaning of sacrifice," said Watson. "He will do everything within his power to see the success of the team, even if it may conflict with his own dreams and aspirations." Watson showed this during his junior year when eleven of his teammates went down with injuries. His coach asked him if he would be willing to play offensive tackle. Even with high hopes of playing tight end in college one day, Watson was willing to push his personal feelings aside for the good of his team and play tackle to the best of his abilities.

Watson's leadership also extends into the classroom. He has a 4.2-grade point average which ranks him 32nd in his class of over 400 students. At Rock Hill High, Watson is also a member of the National Honor Society and participates in multiple community service activities each month.

This past summer, Watson was given one of the biggest honors that a high school student can receive. The Rock Hill community selected him to attend the prestigious Palmetto Boys State program, which recognizes outstanding high school students who exhibit the qualities of leadership, character, scholarship and loyalty and service to school and community. The program is intended to spark interest and pride in government on a local level as well as the national scope by forming a quasi government structure with the students. Watson was also selected to represent his football team at the South Carolina High School League Leadership Conference. At the conference, he learned how to best represent his team as a leader and make sure that his teammates are treating each other and their opponents with respect.

Outside of school, Watson is heavily involved in extracurricular activities and community service projects. He particularly enjoys helping out the youth of his community. As a member of the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), he works with kids at his church and plays sports with them. He also works with a program called "Cheer for Children," where underprivileged children come to Rock Hill High and are able to participate in various activities with the high school athletes. Watson is an advocate for literacy skills among elementary school children and reads regularly to them. As well as football, Watson is also a member of the Rock Hill High School track and field team, where he placed 6th in the state for the discuss throw.

"Asa is a student who is the epitome of what a teacher wants to teach and a coach wants to coach," said Joe Montgomery, head football coach at Rock Hill High School. "He has the best attitude that you'll ever find in player. He will do whatever it takes to help this team to win. I've coached for 36 years now and Asa is at the top of the list when it comes to all of the players that I have had the chance to work with because of his incredible character and work ethic."

During this high school football season, the Carolina Panthers will select ten Community Captains based on nominations received from high school administrators and media representatives. Recipients will receive an authentic Carolina Panthers Community Captain jersey and have the opportunity to participate in select Panthers community outreach events during the current academic year. Recipients will be honored during an on-field ceremony at the Panthers home game versus the Denver Broncos on December 14, 2008 at Bank of America Stadium.

The Carolina Panthers Community Captain program recognizes outstanding high school football student-athletes in North and South Carolina who have demonstrated strong leadership skills on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. The program encourages these future college and NFL players to continue in their positive development as leaders and role models in their communities.

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