Williamsons enjoying Dawgs success
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on November 26, 2009 7:01 AM
PRINCETON - There are few bonds like the one shared by a quarterback and his receivers.
Each player must know each others moves, timing and even thoughts.
At Princeton High School, there is one bond that is stronger. The bond shared by a father and a son who happen to be a coach and a standout player.
When Russell Williamson looks out on the field and sees his son Matt patrolling the middle of the field from his receivers spot he noticeably fills with pride.
"To see how far Matt has come from that first year of middle school ball, it's really amazing," Russell said after Tuesday's practice. "He was kinda small and he wasn't very strong, but now he is a big physical kid and that's a credit to his hard work on the field and in the weight room."
With the Dawgs staring down a playoff matchup with top-seeded Mount Airy in the N.C. High School Athletic Association bracket on Friday night the younger Williamson and his teammates have been putting in extra hours after practice working on timing routes and watching extra film.
After each day's activities the gameday talk continues into the family truck.
"Matt wants to talk about football 24 hours a day and that's fine with me," the head coach said. "You can hear how much he loves the game and you can hear his enthusiasm when we get talking about the next opponent."
As is the case in any coach-player relationship, there are some tense moments when things do not go the teams' way. After a game earlier this season against archrival Rosewood the discussion turned to the teams substitution pattern.
"I felt like we were getting into a rhythm, David (Gurganus) and I were working well and then dad took me out for a breather," Matt recalled. "I got upset about coming out, but after the game he told me why I came out and we were able to talk about it."
The younger Williamson has not had to worry about spending much time on the Dawgs sideline this season thanks to the teams new-found spread offense that takes advantage of the deep receiving corps.
Over the summer Matt Williamson was forced to make the transition from the traditional tight end spot to the slot receiver role.
"That was something that took a lot of work because Matt really enjoys blocking and playing with a hand on the ground," Russell Williamson said. "Overall I think its been a success, and we know that if we call on him to block he will do a good job."
Even though he is a critical cog in the Dawgs' high-flying offensive machine, Matt knows that the only stat that truly matters is in the win column. Each week he takes the field and thinks about what a win would mean to his teammates, his school, and most importantly his father.
"This season has been special because we have been able to win and to make a run in the playoffs which has been great for my dad," Matt said. "It's almost surreal to look over at the end of the game and see my dad and to know that he is just as into it as I am."
After four years of competing together on the gridiron the bond between father and son has never been stronger.
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