Fitz and Griffin Wattley describe their bond through athletics

by Brian Suggs, Staff Writer

For student athletes, tradition is kept alive on the field. Joining as a team or competing as rivals can pose a potential problem for siblings but for some, it merely brings them closer.
For senior outside linebacker and defensive end Fitz Wattley and junior tight end and wide receiver Griffin Wattley, brotherly competition in sports is second nature to these siblings who share the gift of athleticism.
“They are both very good young men and they take time to learn their craft as football players; physically and mentally, they have done a good job of becoming conscious of the way things are on and off the field,” football coach Brian Minish said. “Overall, the benefit of playing with a sibling is that you know there’s always someone there that you can count on, especially in Griffin’s case. “
Younger siblings have a standard to uphold when it comes to following in their older siblings’ footsteps. In sports, they also have set plays to execute, golden rules to follow, and character traits needed to be an active teammate and the epitome of sportsmanship.
“I’m not trying to be him. I just want to be better. But having an older brother on the team gave me a person to look up to; I like his work ethic, his protection, and just being able to have a friend there with me,” Griffin said.
Fitz has proven himself to be an example of athletic dominance for his brother, with his playing in the Cobb Senior Bowl, winning the McEachern’s Gold Helmet Award, and earning a scholarship from Coastal Carolina University.
Griffin has also been following in his older brother’s footsteps of excellence. The junior has been received a varsity letter twice, signifying his excellence in sports and his commitment as a team player; all the while he has earned a 3.0 GPA or better consecutively as well as being given the prestige Harvard Book Award.
“I feel like I’ve set an example for him by telling him to never give up, no matter how hard things may get. I want to teach him to work hard and I want both of us to chase our dreams,” Fitz said.
For these two athletes, the betterment of their athletic careers comes down to their parents’ involvement and their willingness to devote their time and encouragement.
Krystal Wattley, mother and MHS administrator, displays just that by highlighting each of her son’s talents, attending as many games as her schedule will allow, and building a close knit relationships between siblings, on and off the field.
“People often have a role model, a person to look up to for guidance and resemblance. It is natural for big brothers to influence their younger siblings,” Wattley said. “Big brothers are the leading influences to their younger siblings. Griffin looks up to Fitz in ways like playing sports, making good grades, and being a good person all around.”
The decisions made between brothers whether it is on the basis of winning a game, proving themselves to be right, making the best call, or simply trying to gain recognition, it is all a foundation for the outlook on which they live their lives.