Brother, sister push each other on the court

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 10, 2005

Davis Watts doesn't have to look far for encouragement.

The Fort Dale Academy sophomore forward sometimes has his moments on the court when things just seem to be crashing down around him. And all he has to do is look along the baseline and catch the eye of his older sister Frances.

After that look is exchanged, Watts settles down and is ready to play.

That look goes both ways, too.

&#8220It's a way for us to connect on the court in a way that most don't,” Frances Watts explained. &#8220We support each other any way possible whether it be on the basketball court or at home.”

And if they get frustrated with one another, they only need to look to the scorer's table where their father, Joe, keeps the Fort Dale scorebook.

There's no argument that Fort Dale Academy basketball truly is a family affair for the Watts family.

&#8220I guess I started sitting along coaches' row about 10 years ago when my older son was playing basketball,” Joe Watts said. &#8220Before, I used to be vicious with the referees. I was about to lead the school astray with how I was acting.”

That doesn't mean that an occasional remark from the stands or questionable call on the floor won't fire up the elder redhead now.

But Frances Watts said that it's her brother who needs a voice or look or reassurance.

&#8220When he gets mad about something, I'll tell him to calm down when I'm right there cheering,” said Frances Watts, who also is a varsity cheerleader.

&#8220It's all about having a support system.”

Frances and Davis Watts practically grew up in the Fort Dale gym. The two were water boys and girls when they were in kindergarten, and they began to play organized ball not long afterward.

&#8220My dad would have us in the gym learning the Reggie Mantooth system at a young age,” Davis Watts said.

Now, Frances is in her senior year and is the Lady Eagles

leading scorer, while Davis is in his sophomore year and is one of the top two scorers on the team.

The obvious question then would be which one is the better player.

Davis said that on the hardwood, his older sister is.

&#8220She understands the game real well, and I'm still learning,” he said. &#8220I would say all in all, she is the better player. She's got the better jumpshot, but I've got the vertical jump.”

His sister laughed.

&#8220I can't believe he said that,” she said still laughing. &#8220I would say we are pretty equal when it comes playing in the backyard.”

What does Dad say?

&#8220Right now Frances is playing at a higher level since she's a senior, and Davis is a sophomore,” Joe Watts said. &#8220He still has more time to grow and learn the game.”