Triple duty for the Watt family this fall

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Richard and Mary Pat Watt likely have a few extra dollars stashed away in a 529 savings plan, courtesy of three full ride college scholarships for their three children. But with son Kevin playing football for Northwestern, daughter Katie playing soccer at Toledo, and son Chris starting at left guard for the Irish, they’ve likely shifted some of that money into their transportation budget, as they cross the country watching their kids’ sporting events this autumn.

Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald has a great feature on the Watt family, and just how crazy (and fun) this year must be for two very proud parents.

Roughly four years from now, expect release of the first book from Richard and Mary Pat Watt of Glen Ellyn, a collaboration titled, “Inside I-80: A Mile-By-Mile Guide of Things to Do and See Along the Indiana Toll Road.”

The Watt parents are already experts on the subject, considering the number of miles they’ve put on two cars this fall.

The reason is a recession-era dream come true: Three kids on scholarships playing Division I college sports at the same time.

The oldest, Kevin Watt, is a fifth-year defensive end at Northwestern and graduate student in Learning and Organizational Change. He was selected NU’s defensive player of the week after the Penn State game on Oct. 22.

The middle child is Christopher, who has started every game at offensive guard for Notre Dame this season.

The youngest is Katie, who plays soccer at the University of Toledo. She’s appeared in 12 of 20 games as a freshman.

The Watts are trying their best to have one parent at every sporting event this fall. So needless to say, the odometers have been spinning constantly.

“It’s been probably the golden period of my life,” Richard Watt said. “It’s a lot of fun. This is Kevin’s last year. It’s going to be sad. But I have two more years, hopefully, with Christopher and three years with my daughter, Katie. It will be a little easier (in the future).”

Last weekend, Mary Pat Watt took the trip to Winston-Salem while Richard got to see Northwestern stun Nebraska in Lincoln, two games that I’m sure brought smiles to their faces. Kevin had two tackles from his defensive end position against Nebraska, while Katie has played in 13 games for the Rockets. Chris has been one of the best surprises of the season for the Irish, stepping into Chris Stewart’s place at left guard and playing a very physical brand of football.

What a wonderful quote by the patriarch of the Watt clan, calling it the “golden period” of his life. All that driving might keep the Watt family friends with the people at Jiffy Lube, but what an incredible experience being able to see all three of your children playing college sports.

Photo taken by Daniel White of the Daily Herald