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Muskogee Area

Stigler’s Will Rose – Athlete of the Month Presented by CROSS

Stigler junior Will Rose is truly a man for all seasons. In the fall you can find him playing wide receiver and safety on the Panthers football team where he had 39 catches for 613 yards this past season. In winter it’s point guard on the basketball team and powerlifting. And in the spring his spot is at shortstop on the baseball diamond. Asked which one he likes best, Will’s answer waivers a little.

“It’s pretty close between football and baseball, I guess. I’ve played baseball since I was about three-years old, but I think I like football a little more,” said Rose. “It’s the idea of playing and going to battle with your brothers in every game-there’s nothing like it. I think in football you call on your teammates to hold you more accountable than other team sports.”

Will’s football coach, Cade Shearwood, has coached Rose since the eighth grade and has watched him grow as an athlete and a leader.

“He’s a coach’s dream,” said Shearwood. “He’s a leader on and off the field and he leads both vocally and by example. He’s not a big kid at around 5-10, 160, but he hasn’t let that  deter him. I think he’s gained a lot of confidence in the past year as he’s learned to deal with that. He was really our big-play guy this year. Whenever we got into third-and-long or needed a clutch play we tried to get the ball in his hands.”

Will himself acknowledges the size challenge as he discussed some of his role models.

“I’ve always admired the guys who were smaller but did well like Jose Altuve (Houston Astros) or Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions) and Wes Welker (New England Patriots),” said Rose who carries a 4.0 GPA while dealing with athletics, speech and drama and being vice-president of the student council. He also equates leadership and character as quality characteristics.

“I think good character and leadership are both about setting examples for your teammates and giving it everything you’ve got, every play, no matter the circumstances. It’s about playing for your team and not yourself and working hard in the off-season.”

As he moves into the winter sports seasons of basketball and powerlifting Will has certain goals he has set for himself.

“In basketball we’re really young with three sophomores starting so as one of the older players I know I have to be a team leader. Personally, I’d like to average about 12-15 points and eight assists per game and in power lifting I’ve already hit my goal of bench pressing 225 pounds, so I’m going to try to get to 250.”

Will Rose is definitely the kind of guy you want on your team for results and strong character as a teammate.

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