Log In

Reset Password
  • MENU
    UConn Sports
    Wednesday, May 31, 2023

    Navy quarterback with Waterford ties Worth watching against UConn

    Navy quarterback Will Worth takes off on the run during last week's season-opening win over Fordham, Worth, a senior, who will make his first career start on Saturday against UConn in Annapolis, Md., has strong ties to Waterford. His grandparents, Ed and Dolores, raised their eight children, including Will's father William Sr., a Waterford High School graduate, and have resided in town for neaerly 40 years. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan, File)

    To say that Ed and Dolores Worth are excited about their grandson starting at quarterback for Navy on Saturday is a major understatement.

    The Waterford couple is beyond thrilled that Will Worth, a senior making his first career start, will be leading the Midshipmen against UConn at 3:30 p.m. at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.

    "Whether we'll be jumping up and down or not will depend on how the game breaks," Ed said on Thursday. "We're ready to watch it. We'll be into it 100 percent."

    Dolores added: "He's worked so hard for this."

    And they're a tad conflicted, too.

    Four of their children graduated from UConn, so they also root for the Huskies.

    "We sort of have mixed emotions," Ed said. "We had eight children, four of them graduated from UConn. So we've got a pretty close connection to UConn also. But not as quite as close as having our grandson playing football for Navy when they play UConn."

    "This is one week UConn does not have my support. The rest of the season I'm with them."

    When they found out their grandson, or Little Will as they call him because his father is William Sr., took over the starting job due to a season-ending injury to Tago Smith in last week's season-opening rout of Fordham, they had to line up a repairman to fix their television for the big day.

    Also, in a stroke of good fortune, their cable provider just added CBS Sports Network to their network package, which is broadcasting the American Athletic Conference opener.

    The Worth family has deep Waterford roots. Ed and Dolores have lived there for about 40 years. Their kids, including Will Sr., who played linebacker and tight end for the Lancers, attended Waterford High School.

    They also have strong military ties. Will Sr. recently retired after a 20-year career with the Navy and his son, Joe, a 2015 Naval Academy graduate and a former linebacker for the Midshipmen, is now in the Marine Corps. His brother, Sam, was recently appointed deputy director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

    You can say that Will Worth, a first team all-state pick at Newsome High School located near his hometown in Valrico, Fla., has prepared all his life to play football for Navy. He's always had a passion for the sport.

    "Will has lived and breathed football since he was a little boy," Dolores said. "At the age of four, he was pushing shrimp around on his plate making a lineup. He was so cute. The next year when we visited him in Florida, everybody else wore a bathing suit to the beach and he wore shoulder pads and a football helmet. He threw the ball to his dad and brother."

    Up until last week when Worth came off the bench to rush for 22 yards and a touchdown and pass for a score while completing all three passes for 78 yards, his primary role was as a holder on field goals and extra points. He had previously thrown just one pass and rushed just three times in his career.

    "Big shoes to fill, of course," Worth said in an interview on the Navy football website. "I definitely put a lot of responsibility on myself. I want to keep this thing running the way it has been for the past couple of the years."

    Nothing is expected to change in Navy's game plan with Worth at the helm. The Midshipmen (1-0) operate a deceptive triple option attack that gives an opponent fits. The Huskies (1-0) allowed 303 yards on the ground in last year's 28-18 loss in East Hartford.

    Navy regularly ranks in the top six in rushing in the nation.

    "It's an incredible challenge," UConn coach Bob Diaco said.

    Worth already has earned the respect of his teammates and his coaching staff.

    "He's probably one of the best leaders not just on our team but at the school," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "Quarterback is definitely about leadership. But it's more than that, too. You can't have a boy scout over there that can't play. So you've got to be able to play, too.

    "He's got a great skill set. He throws the ball well. He's a tough runner and knows what we're doing. We're going to play to his strengths. All those things that I just talked about plays to our offense anyway."

    As his grandparents proudly point out, Worth also excels off the field, carrying a cumulative 3.50 grade point average.

    After graduating, Worth plans to join the Marines.

    First, he'll have his chance to make his mark on the Navy football program. He's waited a long time to take charge.

    Ed believes that his grandson is ready for the challenge. Dolores agrees.

    "He's just a good kid," Dolores said. "I'm just so happy for Little Will."


    Comment threads are monitored for 48 hours after publication and then closed.