Baynor, Rodman receive Watkins AwardPublished 5:05pm Saturday, May 4, 2013
Though the sun stayed steady as the wind whipped, a mix of passing clouds left the sky’s intentions unclear as if it wasn’t sure whether it wanted to smile or cry.
The same could be said for the people standing under it at Futrell Field on Thursday as Washington High School handed out the 10th annual Watkins Athletic Award in Memory of Trent Emory Watkins.
On a day of mixed emotions the sun won out. The sadness stemming from the untimely death of Trent Emory Watkins, a 2002 WHS graduate who starred for three seasons on the Pam Pack football and baseball varsity teams, eventually gave way to the bright smiles that came with celebrating the life he lived before his tragic motorcycle accident in 2004.
As they have done for the past 10 years, Trent’s parents, Kim and Wayne Watkins, presented the Watkins Athletic Award to the senior football and baseball player that best exhibits strength of character and integrity, a positive attitude, determination and a drive to win, along with an unquestionable dedication to the team.
This year’s recipients where Jack Rodman of the football team and Chase Baynor of the baseball team, who each received $750 along with a plaque courtesy of the Watkins family.
“Although this is the tenth year that we’ve presented the awards, it still remains a moving occasion for us. All of our sons were active in athletics here at WHS and we consider it a privilege to be able to give back to the program by sponsoring these awards,” Kim said. “Coach (Sport) Sawyer and Coach (Ryan) Whitney make the selections of the award recipients, athletic director Allison Jones does a wonderful job to coordinate Senior Night and include our award presentation and Bill Gore does a great job as announcer.
“It’s always a special night for our family. Trent will forever live in our memories – and there are many. We are extremely proud to honor his memory. It is our absolute pleasure to pay tribute to two fine young athletes that play with the same type of intensity and dedication that our Trent held.”
The award is one of the most prestigious honors a Washington athlete can receive and Whitney said Baynor is deserving of it.
“Chase is a great kid and a model kid you would like to have in your program,” Whitney said. “He’s a great kid to be around and always 100 percent positive. I know he didn’t always play as much as he would have hoped but he never complained. He was always there and always went hard.
“The ceremony is so special with all that the Watkins family does. This is my second year being a part of it and it just says something about that family that they take their time year in and year out to do this. There are always multiple members of the family there to honor Trent and show support for the baseball and football programs. It just speaks very highly of them.”
Sawyer said that Rodman’s dedication to the team made him a perfect choice for the Watkins Award.
“I had the privilege of coaching Trent when he was on the football team and he always worked very hard on the football field and he always carried himself well in school and the in the classroom.” Sawyer said. “Jack reminds me of him with how hard he works on the football field and in the classroom.”