As Sumner High’s featured running back and likely a key cog in the offense, Connor Wedington is packing his summer with football camps to get better prepared for the upcoming season.
All the long days, busy weekends and trips to five different camps, including Eastern Washington’s camp last month, is all a part of the junior’s plan — a plan Wedington created years ago.
“I have set goals that I wanted to accomplish each year in high school,” Wedington said. “I wanted to start in my sophomore year, and I worked hard to achieve that … I wanted to have my college commitment made by the end of my junior year. (This summer) will help with that.”
As of this point, only Eastern Washington has made an offer to Wedington, with Washington keeping an eye on him. It’s the Eagles and their creative and explosive offense that has piqued Wedington’s interest so far.
“They’re my first offer and showed that they want me there, so I’m planning on going back to their next camp,” he said.
After that Eastern Washington camp, Wedington’s summer should calm down a little.
Yet, that’s where it becomes a problem for this stellar student-athlete. He’s one of the most determined players Sumner coach Keith Ross has ever had in his system. It’s not often Ross moves an entire offensive system to placate a sophomore’s skillset.
But after a short time of seeing the effort Wedington put it, that’s exactly what happened.
“He has a tremendous work ethic — it’s unbelievable,” Ross said. “And he’s such a great person to his teammates and his classmates … he truly embodies what we mean ‘student-athlete.’”
“I want people to look up to me because of my actions,” Wedington said.
It’s a respect Wedington wants to gain, demonstrating to the other players that they can achieve the grades in the classroom — Wedington sports a 3.80 grade point average — and on the football field.
Where it began
Wedington’s breakout game arguably came against Enumclaw, when the then-sophomore rushed for 199 yards. Wedington finished with three scores —including touchdown runs of 43 and 48 yards.
Time and time again, the Spartan tailback displayed a sense of clairvoyance not seen by many young high school backs.
For Wedington, his ability goes back to the beginning.
“It’s thanks to what my father taught me,” Wedington said after the career game against Enumclaw. “It’s thanks to him I’m able to do what I did.”
Wedington and his older brother, Tristan, both spent many hours working and training with their father, Donovan, when they were younger. In an attempt to give his sons things he never had, Donovan relished the time he spent with his children. It was about getting them to be better in anything they do in life.
“I always gave them (carrots) to push them — if they could beat me in the 40-yard dash, I’d give them $100,” Donovan said. “With Tristan, he would beat me and I’d give him the money. But when it came to Connor, I just gave him the money.”
Whichever way Connor’s motivation began, it never subsided within him as an athlete. These weren’t lessons of earnings, but lessons to gain the value of desire. Donovan instilled that discipline in both his boys, especially Connor.
“He taught me to look beyond what I’m doing now — it’s fun scoring a 70-yard touchdown and pumping your team up,” Connor said. “But when I get a big gain or a first down, I want to go out and get that next one.”
“The one thing I taught Connor is to use his vision,” Donovan said. “You need to be able to see as much of the field as you can, because that’s when you’ll see a player come up on Connor’s side, and then he steps back and avoids the tackle. Connor can see the whole field.”
Both on and off of it.
It’s exactly why Wedington is spending his summer camp hopping, putting his name out there. He has a vision of where he wants to go, and it’s only one step in the master plan.