Like most boys in his family, De Soto’s Shane Watts has been playing football since a very young age. Being the son of a former college standout and younger brother of an All-State running back Watts has some very successful influences on the gridiron.
“My father, Derrick Watts - HoF Baker University Football ‘91, was my youth coach and my brother, Trevor Watts (All-State Running Back/Receiver ’17) who is a current Washburn University Football player have been major influences in my love for the game of football,” Watts stated. “I started flag football in Kindergarten & have been playing tackle football since 3rd grade.”
Shane has been making a name for himself lining up at strong safety and serving as a return man for the Wildcats. This fall he is set to become a three-year letterman and two-year starter for De Soto and head coach Brian King.
During his junior campaign in 2018 Watts recorded an impressive 68 tackles, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles. Watts also saw some action on offense throughout the season and recorded a receiving touchdown as well.
As a result of his efforts, he recorded a bevy of accolades being named second-team all-league defensive back and an all-state non-senior honorable mention selection by Sports in Kansas.
Watts believes what makes him stand out as a player is his ability to make tackles in the open field.
“I’ve been told by many coaches that I’m one of the best open-field tacklers they’ve had go through the program,” he stated. “I have no fear & have a nose for the ball.”
Standing at 5-foot-9 and weighing 175 pounds Watts projects well at the next level at both defensive back and as a return man or as a slot receiver.
“As far as the next level goes, I’m concentrating most of my efforts on MIAA teams,” Watts stated. “I am not ruling out local NAIA teams either.”
Along with starring out the gridiron Watts also plays baseball in the spring and has lettered twice for the Wildcats as an outfielder.
In addition to athletics Watts also gets it done in the classroom as he holds a 3.6 GPA.
Watts and the Wildcats are looking forward to making strides this fall and building on last year’s 8-3 season that ended in sectionals.
De Soto returns a lot of experience from last fall’s team including six starters on offense and nine starters on defense. As a result, the Wildcats and Watts have high expectations heading into the 2019 season.
“Our goals are to win United Kansas Conference, Regionals, Sectionals & go to state,” Watts stated.
Some other Wildcat players to look out for according to Watts include: Jackson Miller QB, Tyson Priddy slotback, Garrett Kellner fullback, Luke Barger LB, Lucas Nascimento LB, Dallas Williams CB, Austin Rosetta FS.
De Soto and Watts open the season on Friday, September 6th at 7:00 p.m. as they host the Leavenworth Pioneers.
This feature is presented by Easy Agent PRO, Your Digital Marketing Platform. Best of luck to the De Soto Wildcats in 2019!
How did you get involved in football?
My father, Derrick Watts - HoF Baker University Football ‘91, was my youth coach and my brother, Trevor Watts - All-State Running Back/Receiver ‘17 & current Washburn University Football player, have been major influences in my love for the game of football. I started flag football in Kindergarten & have been playing tackle football since 3rd grade.
What are your goals this season?
To win United Kansas Conference, Regionals, Sectionals & go to state.
What makes you such a force as a player?
I’ve been told by many coaches that I’m one of the best open-field tacklers they’ve had go through the program. I have no fear & have a nose for the ball.
What’s the atmosphere like to play football on Friday night for your school and town?
The town of De Soto really gets behind our team. It’s the best feeling I could ask for! I live for Friday Night under the lights!
For anyone that hasn’t seen one of your games, why come to one?
We have one of the best defenses in the state. Most of us have played together since our youth football games. We also have a talented, young, offense led by Jackson Miller, junior, at quarterback.
Who are other key players on your team?
Offense: Jackson Miller QB, Tyson Priddy slotback, Garrett Kellner fullback Defense: Luke Barger LB, Lucas Nascimento LB, Dallas Williams CB, Austin Rosetta FS
Favorite thing about football?
Brotherhood with my teammates, putting in hard work as a team and encouraging each other & getting rewarded for it.
Do you play any other sports, tell us about that, what other positions do you play?
I am a two-year letterman as an outfielder in baseball.
What is it like to play for your coach?
It is an honor to play for Coach King. He is intense and does not accept anything but our best effort.
What did you and the team do in the off-season to become better?
We had 8 weeks of weights this summer from 6:45am- 8am and practice afterwards. We also played 7 on 7 on Monday nights and won Lansing’s tournament, beating cross-town rival Mill Valley. - I was invited to multiple combines and camps in the area and really improved my game and started the collegiate recruiting process.
What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?
As far as the next level goes, I’m concentrating most of my efforts on MIAA teams, but am not ruling out local NAIA teams either.
Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?
I love to shoot hoops or go to the gym with my friends, or just hang out with my friends at the park.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’m going to study kinesiology and possible run a gym to help others reach their fitness goals.
Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you, GPA?
Other than weights and conditioning, I like like business/marketing. I have a 3.6 overall GPA
Who is your role model?
My father, Derrick Watts, because he taught me how lessons from the game of football can shape my life. He’s always pushing me to be my best.
Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?
JT’s Bar & Grill - they feed our team every Friday night & are very supportive of DHS
One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you?
I used to play the trumpet.
Anything else to add?
I have 2 brothers, Trevor Watts (sophomore slot receiver, Washburn University- transfer from Baker University last year), and Andrew Watts (7th grade at Lexington Trails Middle School- also an excellent football player). My dad is Derrick Watts, Hall of Fame slot-receiver, punt/kick return Baker University class of ‘91, 1985 Football State Champion Washburn Rural High School & 1985 Shrine Bowl (he played against Barry Sanders). My mom is Kimberly Watts, German teacher at Olathe Northwest High School and former high school gymnastics coach.