By Jennie Acklin
On Monday morning, March 2, Calum Watt, the Watt family, Coach Chad Bartoszek, along with Principal Bob Miller and Superintendent Mark Ward gathered at ECS during the morning newscast as Watt signed a letter of intent to play football at Ashland University in Ohio.
Watt, a senior at ECS, said that “this has been a dream since I first put on shoulder pads. And now, to be able to play football for a Division 2 university team as defensive end or linebacker is incredible!”
“Ashland University is a perfect mix of a small-town atmosphere (like Ellicottville) and a larger city. I really liked the feel of the campus. From an academic standpoint, I am excited about what I believe I can do there,” said Watt. “I plan to major in biology and toxicology, in a pre-med curriculum, then consider medical school with plans to specialize in the orthopaedic field.”
Watt talked about his start in pee-wee football, and how both he and his little brother, Liam, “were too big to complete little league. But we were able to make our mark and impress the coaches by 8th grade, and begin playing JV football earlier than normal. To be able to share the field this year, my senior year, with my little brother, has been great.”
Watt smiles when asked if he remembers any particular play this past season with Liam. “One play against Frewsburg stands out where comments of ‘just follow those two big Watt boys down the field’ were made – that was great.”
Watt will graduate from ECS on June 26, celebrate with family and friends at his senior party June 27, and head to Ashland on June 28, not wanting to miss one moment of beginning his college football career.
Watt has carried a 98 weighted-average through his senior year so far. He is currently taking EMT course training. Always knowing he wanted to go to college, he and his parents, Kim and Kevin Watt, started looking at local college opportunities during his sophomore/junior year. The search got a bit more serious during his junior/senior year, when he visited and applied to The University of Connecticut, Kent State, Ashland University, University of Buffalo and SUNY Cortland.
He was accepted to all five universities, and was offered a merit scholarship to UB, Kent State and Ashland. He was also offered a partial football scholarship to Ashland.
On February 12, 2015, he was invited to take a tour of Ashland and was offered a letter of intent that day. According to Kim Watt, “The decision to accept the offer from Ashland was Calum’s decision. We are just so very proud to see how hard he has worked to make this happen. Calum has had this dream for so long, and to see it happen is just wonderful.”
Coach Bartoszek, who took part in the signing ceremony, had very respectful comments to make about Watt. “I’m very happy for Cal. He is a leader in this school. He is a big part of our football program and volunteers a lot of time to it.”
According to Kim Watt, both Liam and Calum have volunteered their coaching time for pee wee and midget football for the past two years.
Bartoszek went on to say that Watt’s accomplishments will continue to help the ECS football program. “Young kids want to be like him – his success will encourage more kids to be a part of the team. It’s good for our school and for our area. Football offers so many good opportunities.”
The Ellicottville Times and the entire community wishes Watt every possible success on and off the field. Congratulations!