Stigler senior Will Rose is one of the latest cogs in the offensive machine that has sent Stigler to the state playoffs for the past seven years. It’s part of the tradition in this Haskell County town that Rose talked about in discussing his upbringing.
“I started athletics at the age of three playing T-ball and then got into basketball and football in the sixth grade. Youth football is kind of a tradition here in Stigler and I just wanted to be a part of it,” said the VYPE TOP 100 player.
Growing up, Rose says he always admired the high school players as role models because of they way they would fight and compete and that included watching his current coach and Panther alum Cade Shearwood, now in his second year as the head coach.
“Will is our go-to guy on offense and he’s so versatile. We know we can throw to him as a wide out because he’s such a good route runner and will fight for the ball. We can also line him up as an H-back, tight end-type player to run or block for us,” said Shearwood. “On defense he’s our strong safety and gives people a lot of problems and they generally don’t like throwing to his side. He’s really a coach’s dream to have on the field to communicate and execute our game plan.”
In his first year to start in 2021, Rose showed that versatility by running for 100 yards while grabbing 39 passes for 613 yards and five touchdowns with over 800 all-purpose yards. On defense he registered 47 tackles with five interceptions. Although he still plays all three sports for the Panthers, football is his favorite.
“I just like being part of a big team and fighting with your brothers on Friday nights. There’s nothing like scoring a touchdown,” said Rose who carries a 4.0 GPA and is vice president of the student council, in the National Honor Society as well as speech and drama and the Leadership Club. And being a leader is nothing new for Rose.
“I kind of had to step in to lead some last year because we were so young, so this year I’m working on becoming more vocal with the guys. I think a good leader is a combination of being verbal while continuing to set good examples for everyone.”
Will’s path after high school is still uncertain. He has had some interest from smaller schools to play college football but says he may go the academic scholarship route to OSU.