Tonka hemingway and braden davis
Watkins Game of the Week 3 and Game 4 summoned me to Columbia, South Carolina, to see Tonka Hemingway perform on the field for the first time since high school. Braden Davis has since joined Tonka as a freshman quarterback from our most recent class. Circumstances his first year and covid his second year have me now attending my first game to Gamecock Nation! Lena (mom), Kenneth (dad), and sister welcomed me with open arms. This is of the few major college football stadiums I have yet to visit in my venture to see Watkins men perform.
Tonka “Hemi” Hemingway (Watkins Class of 2020) is now the starting defensive tackle for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. The journey to the starting position has not come easy. Hemi redshirted his first year, and after that season, his recruiting head coach was released. We know how much of a challenge that can be. While the Covid season gave everyone fits, he continued to be worked in on defensive line packages. This year he is coming into his own on the line. His weight has been adjusted up and down by the football staff. However, he is now a lean 285 and dominating. True to the name, he overpowers his opposition like a real Tonka Truck with a Hemi Engine. He still has two years of eligibility, but we will see how things continue to progress. In recent weeks, he has been used as a tight end, scoring touchdowns and returning an extra blocked point for a touchdown. This speaks to how his footwork and agility continue to improve at an elite level. Currently, he is ranked #2 in the SEC in the pash rushing winning percentage. For this particular game, he was selected as the team captain, showing his leadership position on his team. As Hemi continues to improve on the gridiron, he is dedicated to the classroom. He received the highest GPA on the defensive Award this season, maintaining a 3.4 GPA in Public Health Major. Braden “BD” Davis (Watkins Class of 2022) arrived as a freshman on campus this past spring. BD joined South Carolina as the top QB in the nation last year in high school. He is absorbing the offense like a sponge while learning behind one of the top projected quarterbacks in this upcoming NFL draft. He will be the future quarterback of the Gamecocks. The University of South Carolina football team is on the rise!
This reunion was special as I had not seen the Hemingway family since the day before Covid 19 changed the world. Mr. Hemingway got tickets for me and our Chairperson, Vareva Harris. Before the game, Vareva treated me to some great BBQ, and Kenneth was a sight for sore eyes when we got to the game. Tonka had a good match while the Gamecocks dominated Charlotte. The Hemingway family sends their regards!