Javin Whatley may have been singled out to be named Georgia High School Football Daily’s state Player of the Week, but he made sure his teammates were recognized just as much.
The Rockmart senior, who has been the Jackets’ starting quarterback the last two seasons, was presented the newsletter’s player of the week award on Wednesday, Dec. 2, during a small presentation at the high school’s weight room.
Whatley had the biggest performance of his career against White County in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs when he rushed for 264 yards and three touchdowns, passed for 94 yards and two touchdowns and scored on an 80-yard kickoff return.
The No. 7-ranked Jackets won 48-35 and advanced to take on No. 1 Cedar Grove in the Sweet 16 on Friday, which Rockmart lost 30-27 after three overtimes.
“I really didn’t even know that I did all that until the game was over,” Whatley said about his performance against White County. “But my line. I love them boys. They played good, and my team, I just love my team. And it’s a team effort.”
Ted Langford with Georgia High School Football Daily presented Whatley the award, which is sponsored by AstroTurf and Sports Turf, who both had representatives present. A group of teammates, coaches and administrators were also on hand.
Rockmart head football coach Biff Parson spoke about how humble and impressive Whatley has been during his time at Rockmart, which includes four straight region titles and a 43-7 record.
“Javin is getting this individual award but Javin would be the first one to tell you that it’s a team effort and a team award,” Parson said.
“He wouldn’t be able to do what he does without these guys. And I think it’s the culture we have here and it’s a culture that is created by our kids. A lot of times in their ability to play this game and create a team atmosphere, they give Javin opportunities, just like they give the rest of our skill guys opportunities.”
Whatley was 41-of-90 passing for 879 yards and 10 touchdowns heading into the Sweet 16 showdown with Cedar Grove. He leads a backfield that had accounted for 41 of Rockmart’s 58 touchdowns, rushing 152 times for 1,223 yards and 14 touchdowns.
“I feel like we, we are more of a team than we ever have been in my last four years, everybody all on one page, everybody connected. It has been going great,” Whatley said.