GAINESVILLE -- Deshaun Watson, Michael Meadows and Johnathan West helped provide area football fans with plenty of memorable moments in 2012. On Thursday, the Gainesville Jaycees returned the favor.
The Jaycees honored all three standouts at their second football awards banquet, bestowing scholarships on Meadows and West and naming Watson the Jaycees' 2012 Player of the Year.
West helped Chestatee to its best season in program history in 2012, anchoring the War Eagles' offense and defense from the line of scrimmage. West captained a Chestatee offensive line that paved the way for over 347 yards rushing per game -- a stat that helped the War Eagles to an 8-3 record and the program's first ever home state playoff contest. Chestatee also won a record seven straight contests during the season.
(Click "play" below to watch a video presentation of the awards ceremony, including interviews with each winner.)
A senior, West received a $2,500 scholarship that will go toward his collegiate education at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn.
Meadows, meanwhile, was honored with a $1,000 award that will go toward his career at Birmingham Southern University.
A senior at West Hall, Meadows was a key member of the Spartans squad for four seasons and helped coach Tony Lotti in his first season in charge at West Hall, playing offensive line and middle linebacker.
Both Meadows and West were honored as much for their work away from the field, as Meadows carries a 3.4 grade point average while taking honors courses, including psychology in West Hall's International Baccalaureate program. West, meanwhile, has worked his way toward a 4.1 grade point average -- the highest on the War Eagles squad -- and is a Certificate of Merit award winner, as well as a member of DECA, FBLA and the National Honor's Society.
Watson, meanwhile, is coming off a record-setting junior campaign in which the quarterback smashed marks in career total touchdowns with 155, career passing yards with 9,360 and career passing scores with 108. Most importantly, he helped Gainesville to its first ever state title, culminating in a 49-13 defeat of Ware County in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Watson also became just the second player in GHSA history to throw 50 touchdowns in a season and the third to throw for over 4,000 yards in a season (4,011).
The Jaycees are looking forward to another outstanding season in 2013 and to continue the growth of their scholarship program after initiating the endeavor following the 2011 season.
PREVIOUS SCHOLARSHIP AWARD WINNERS:
2011 -- C.J. White, East Hall
PREVIOUS PLAYER OF THE YEAR WINNERS:
2011 -- Deshaun Watson, Gainesville