John Watson and The Zone radio team up every year to spotlight top athletes.
Nearly 14 years ago, John Watson Chevrolet and The Zone radio station teamed up to honor and spotlight the top student athletes from local high schools for football and basketball. Each year, the radio station picks spotlights and honors the athletes on the radio. John Watson Chevrolet puts the honored athlete’s picture up on the billboard on 31st Street and on the digital sign at the dealership. Then, at the end of the season (in the fall for football and in the spring for basketball,) they hold a banquet where the athletes, their parents, and the administrators from the students’ schools come to the dealership to listen to a speaker and enjoy a pizza dinner. Cory said that people always ask where the pizza came from, and it is always from the Ogden Pizzeria because they do such a great job. And, as Cory Watson says: “They are the real deal.”
Tony Parks from The Zone radio station is always in attendance at the banquet and is a huge contributor; he knows the kids and their achievements during the season. He knows high school sports better than anyone around.
The speakers have been a huge part of the program and something the kids really get a ton from. Over the years, guest speakers like Scott Mitchell from the NFL, Thurl Bailey from the NBA, and Shawn Bradley from the NBA have been featured; this year, Natalie Williams from the WNBA will speak. After the speaker addresses the attendees, Cory or Cam Watson gives closing remarks, and then each of the athletes gets to have a photo with the speaker and obtain autographs.
Cory fondly remembers when Shawn Bradley came to speak. They saved him a slice of pizza, and Shawn stayed after and visited with Cory and his boys. The boys, teens at the time, barely came up to Shawn’s waist. At 7’6” Shawn could palm their heads. The only error Shawn made that night was pulling up in a Ford truck.
This year will be special with Michelle Williams coming to speak, as she will be the first female speaker they have had. Both boys and girls basketball players are honored at the event, and this year will be very special because the Fremont Boys Basketball team won the state title after a great season.
When Donnaven Mitchell of the Utah Jazz went to the state title game and watched the boys play, the cameras panned over and focused on Donovan each time Dallin Hall made a great play. Donovan had a look of awe on his face while watching the skill of this young player. He later tweeted about Dallin and was even seen in a Fremont Hoodie. Dallin will be recognized at the banquet this year. The Watsons have loved having this event twice annually. They love being part of the schools and recognizing the students and their accomplishments. Cory said he would rather spend part of their marketing budget on events like this, which are locally focused, rather than on just advertising. On average, they fill 80 chairs for boys football and up to 150 for girls and boys basketball each spring. Each of these kids is honored for their athletic skill and achievement, which is a bright spot and an honor for these athletes and their families.