Watters, who plays three sports at Lansing Catholic, wants to maximize his junior year despite the playing in a pandemic.
Alex Watters, a three-sport star at Lansing Catholic, knows this year is important. But he knows it will be anything but normal.
Watters, a junior, has seen his life change due to COVID-19. He’s an athlete of many talents on the football field, basketball court and the track, and this typically is the time where coaches come to evaluate and offer scholarships.
“I want to play football in college,” said Watters. “That is my goal. The pandemic affected me because over the summer there were no recruiting camps or anything for any sports and no gyms were open. It was tough, I had to just figure things out and find ways to go out and throw the ball and workout. I feel like every athlete was in the same boat in that situation.’
The MHSAA reinstated the football season, after originally deciding to postpone it due to the pandemic. Teams will have a shortened season, to be played in front of around a 1,000-fan limit.
Lansing Catholic Coach Jim Ahern said the team has been working out since the end of June and following protocols to stay healthy.
Watters believes having a partial season with six, all-league games, and everyone making the playoffs is “better than not having a season at all.”
“Having to wear a mask will take some getting used to, but I think we'll be fine,” said Watters.
Ahern said the uncertainty of the summer and knowing if they would have a season was the hardest factor.
COVID-19 placed a new challenge on Watters and other collegiate prospects.
“Division 1 schools have reached out to him for both football and basketball and have officially started the recruiting process with him,” said Tom Watters, Alex’s father.
Watters has decided he wants to continue playing football at the next level, even though he has received collegiate interest for both sports.
“I just have more of a love for the game than the other sports I play,” said Watters. “I am more driven in that area and I've found that I excel at football more.”
Watters said this summer was difficult since college football recruiting camps were cancelled.
“Between your sophomore and junior years is the time to showcase your abilities in front of college coaches at camps but not this year due to COVID-19,” said Tom Watters.
Thankfully, the fall season has been reinstated and now college coaches can still get video from recent games.
Watters has proven himself as a standout football player so far in his career, especially due to a breakout season he had in 2019.
According to MaxPreps.com, Watters totaled 1,081 yards and 19 touchdowns as a wide receiver as a sophomore. He helped lead Lansing Catholic to the Division 5 state title, with a 31-17 win over Almont in the championship.
Watters was in the middle of a District run for basketball, when the pandemic shut down sports and school.
Ahern believes that Watters is still an “exceptional athlete with great potential” and will get through the new challenges in recruiting due to the pandemic.
“Alex is a very skilled athlete. He does special things,” said Ahern. “He is in a league of his own. For example, he's got a 39-inch vertical leap.”
Watters decided to take his career into his own hands when the pandemic hit.
Alex’s mother, Kim Watters, said he has been working on his strength, speed and nutrition over the past few months.
“Alex has decided to control what he can control,” said Tom Watters. “His dedication will show on the field and will be recognized by college coaches.