MIDLAND, MI — Jason Watkins has been involved with theMidland Dow football program for more than two decades, but the 2014 season was a season of firsts for the longtime Charger.
Under his direction, the Chargers finished first in the conference in terms of passing and total offense, while also finishing first in the standings. Dow’s conference championship was its first since 2005, but the team went one step further securing its first undefeated regular season since 1976.
All of those firsts added up to one more for Watkins who was named the MLive Saginaw News Coach of the Year.
“I think it’s kind of surreal the concept of having an undefeated regular season,” Watkins said. “I’ve coached at all levels in 21 years at Dow and this is the first undefeated season I’ve had on any level. I hope it’s not a unique experience in my career, but it’s definitely a first. And I give all the credit to the kids and the coaching staff.”
Watkins took over the helm at Dow in 2009, and he’s had a winning record in 5 of 6 seasons with the Chargers, including this year’s historic season. The program is 40-20 since he took over.
The Chargers scored 459 points to set a new school record by 60 points, while holding the opposition to 141. They capped the season off 10-1 overall advancing to a Division 2 district championship game. In addition to winning the conference championship and advancing to the second round of the playoffs, Dow also won the Midland Bowl for the first time since 2010.
“It’s just very rewarding to see a group of kids who wanted to do things the right way,” Watkins said. “They wanted to work hard and push themselves. They achieved a lot of their goals winning a city championship and a league championship.”