PG Athletes of the Week: Justin Watson, Marlys Bridgham
November 14, 2013 9:04 PM
Justin Watson of South Fayette High School.
Pine-Richland's Marlys Bridgham
By Nick Veronica / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Brad Everett / Tri-State Sports & News Service
Justin Watson, South Fayette
Last week: Watson had 10 catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns in South Fayette's 31-7 WPIAL Class AA quarterfinal win against Seton-LaSalle.
Check this out: Watson is the big-play receiver for the WPIAL's highest-scoring offense. A senior, he has 45 catches for 1,079 yards and 14 touchdowns. He's averaging 24 yards per catch. Watson had Division I offers from Akron and Buffalo, but chose instead to play at Ivy League school Penn. South Fayette, which averages 48.1 points per game, plays Beaver Falls tonight in a semifinal at Montour.
Worst thing about playing in cold weather? Coming out and playing in the second half. It's tough to get warm again.
Favorite route to run? Definitely a post route. I love going deep. Brett [Brumbaugh] and I have a nice relationship out there.
Best player in the WPIAL, excluding anyone on your team? The one guy who stands out is Shai McKenzie from Washington. Even though he got hurt this year, what he was able to do last year not many guys can do.
Why Penn? The main thing was the education. Penn, Yale and Cornell were my final three. Penn just has a winning football atmosphere. It was a mixture of education and football.
Penn is in Philadelphia. Do you think you'll root for any of the Philly sports teams? (Laughs) No. Not a chance. I'm a Pitt, Steelers, Pirates and Pens fan through and through.
Last time you got anything worse than a "B" on your report card? Never on my report card. Lowest I got was a B in calculus last year. I definitely heard about it from my parents.
Most people might be surprised to know that ... I have a brother (Tommy) who suffers from cerebral palsy. That's a motivating factor for me.
Marlys Bridgham, Pine-Richland
Last week: Bridgham didn't drop a set as she took the PIAA Class AAA singles tennis title, defeating Methacton's Mihaela Codreanu, 6-1, 6-4, in the championship match.
Check this out: A senior, Bridgham is headed to the University of Dayton next fall where she'll play tennis and study engineering.
How did the final match go? I had played this girl a few times before but this time I was definitely more nervous. I just tried to forget about the fact that it was the finals of states. I just tried to relax and take each point. I know that she can be a really solid player.
How did you do against her before? I never lost to her before ... I was more nervous because I didn't want the one loss to be for the state title.
What are the strengths of your game? My biggest strength is my fitness. I'm not just saying that, I also do CrossFit at R.A.W. Training, it's done really amazing things for my game. The ability to grind out points ... that's usually not a quality in girl tennis players.
How'd you get into tennis? I was about 10½, I was a swimmer for a long time but I was getting tired of it. I loved (tennis) since the first day. It's not like a single race, it's like a journey. It's not just a physical sport, it's a really big thinking sport. I can think about it and think what I'm doing wrong. In swimming you just go two minutes and then it's over.
Favorite pro? Roger Federer. I've always been a major Federer fan. I like his humility and I've always loved his game and I try to model my game after his because he's not super defensive but he's aggressive as well -- a happy medium.
What do you like to do for fun? Does CrossFit count? Just kidding. I like hanging out with friends and family.
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