Students and faculty wore purple and some, including Wilson Central principal Travis Mayfield, sported Watertown T-shirts and took time throughout their day to honor and pay tribute to a student who is remembered as a kind young man who was active in sports and selfless in his attention given to the needs of his family.
“Anytime a student passes away from a tragic accident or whatever the case may be, it’s a sad situation, and you want to show respect to the family and the community, and when it’s a school community, you want to do that even more so. Our students have a reputation for stepping out and doing things for others, and so [Monday], I’m not sure if it came from a student or a teacher, but someone suggested that we all wear purple to show support for Watertown students and the community,” Mayfield said. “As a principal, as teachers and faculty, it’s our obligation to help students deal with this.”
One Wilson Central student attributed the school’s leadership as an example of how to respect and honor the entire community of Wilson County.
“I feel like we can attribute that a lot to Mr. Mayfield,” said Jesse Daniel, a senior at Wilson Central. “He’s really put a sense of community into our school, and he treats us with respect, so we treat him with respect, and we show the same amount of pride in our community that we do in our school.”
“It doesn’t matter if you’re from an opposing or rival high school,” said Carson White, a senior at Wilson Central. “You can have aggressive football games, you can hate each other’s teams. But in Wilson County, we’re all family, so if someone gets hurt then every high school contributes.”
Nick Damewood, a senior at Wilson Central, said students plan to change the theme of Friday night’s football game from “white out” to “purple out” in support of Watertown High School and Dotson’s memory.
Watertown High School principal Jeff Luttrell expressed his appreciation for the support shown throughout the county.
“WHS is very appreciative of the wonderful support shown during this time. Wilson Central’s expression of care is humbling and offers comfort to all,” Luttrell said.
Dotson’s funeral was tentatively scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m. with visitation at 3:30 p.m. at Watertown High School.