When was the last time Sumner High School had an athlete like Tre Weed, who could play about every position, excel at them all, help lead the Spartans to the 4A state football semifinals and earn 4A SPSL MVP in the same year?
That was Connor Wedington a season ago. Now he’s starting as a true freshman at Stanford.
Wedington believes his former teammate is destined to be a big-time college player. And he warns those who doubt that.
“All the schools that don’t offer Tre are going to have to play against Tre – and then they are going to wish that they did offer him,” Wedington said.
“Tre should 100 percent be in the Pac-12. No doubt in my mind. I’m sure he’ll get those offers, but whoever doesn’t offer from the Pac-12 is going to wish they did.”
Weed says it’s surreal to see one of his best friends playing on ESPN. It was only a year ago that they were both in Sumner jerseys, watching college football games together.
“And we’d be like, ‘That could be us one day,’ ” Weed said. “And now Connor is there and next year I’ll be off to college – that was always a dream of ours.”
But first, Weed is focusing on another dream of his – playing in the Tacoma Dome.
The eighth-ranked Spartans (10-2) play No. 2 Woodinville (12-0) at 5 p.m. Saturday at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup, with a chance of advancing to the 4A state championship for the first time since 1977.
And it’s eerie to see Weed come full circle. It was against then-undefeated Woodinville in last year’s state quarterfinals when an injured Wedington first told Weed and Ben Wilson that Sumner was officially their team. Wedington, last year’s TNT All-Area player of the year, missed the game and the rest of Sumner’s playoff run with a separated shoulder.
Weed had 27 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns in the Spartans’ 16-13 win to secure a trip to the semifinals.
And now Weed gets Woodinville one more time, and still fully secured of his place as one of Sumner’s team leaders.
“I definitely feel more confident and I definitely feel like I have a bigger role,” said Weed, who is 6-foot, 190 pounds. “I have to lead the team now, I know I have to be the hardest worker out there and give my all and be a good role model for my team.”
He racked up 226 all-purpose yards last week against Monroe – scoring on an 85-yard interception return, a 61-yard rushing TD and a 34-yard receiving TD. That put him at 2,054 all-purpose yards for the season, which is six more than Wedington had last year.
“I’m telling you!” Wedington laughed. “Me and Tre are literally the same player. That’s why it’s so cool watching him now. Tre is a freak on both sides of the ball.”
“Connor has the burst – all the sudden he’s there. Tre is long and athletic and smooth,” Sumner offensive coordinator Spencer Crace said. “Tre doesn’t look like he has the shakes, but he has one step and he can go.”
Wedington and Weed have been friends since playing youth football together and they still talk almost every day.
A typical hangout day?
“Probably me going to his house, beating him in Madden a couple of times,” Wedington said.
“Connor somehow has the Madden gods on his side,” Weed said.
“But then I’d have to beat him in Kendama (a Japanese toy),” Wedington said. “And a lot of times we’d go to his uncle’s house and jet ski or fish on Lake Tapps.”
And their older brothers, Tristan Wedington and Isaiah Weed, are friends. And Weed’s parents are friends with Wedington’s parents.
So maybe that explains why they have such similar do-it-all play styles. But off the field, Weed is slightly more quiet and introverted than his former teammate.
“Tre is just like the nicest guy,” Wedington said.
One play gave him a reputation of just the opposite last year against Graham-Kapowsin’s Foster Sarell, who now plays at Stanford. It was a hit after the whistle to the back of Sarell’s knee that Weed said he has regretted ever since.
“I guarantee that was the worst decision I have ever made in my life,” Weed said. “That night, I couldn’t sleep. I felt sick to my stomach.
“It was just totally in the heat of the moment and right when I happened I just felt sick and I hope he knows that I am truly sorry about that. That’s not me.”
Weed was a freshman at Bonney Lake when he played alongside his older brother, Isaiah, who is now a quarterback at Northwestern Oklahoma State. The next year Tre headed to Sumner.
“I knew about him, but I’m not going to lie, I didn’t like him,” Wilson said. “Because he was so good and I was jealous and I wanted to be better than him. But getting to know him that first year of varsity our sophomore year – he’s a good guy. It didn’t take long for us to be friends.”
The combination of Weed and Wilson is a formidable duo. When Weed’s not burning defenders up the sideline, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Wilson is breaking tackles up the middle. Or on defense, if Wilson isn’t stuffing runners in the backfield, Weed is picking off passes (he led the 4A SPSL with eight interceptions).
Wilson announced in the summer that he’s going to Texas Christian University on a scholarship. Weed has so far received offers from Syracuse, Hawaii and Idaho, but also Cornell, Yale and Princeton.
But for now, he’d just like to end up in the Tacoma Dome.
“I want to leave a legacy here of being a leader and having good character and influencing people to work as hard as they can and it’s possible to do the impossible,” Weed said. “I hope I’m remembered as a hard worker who led and motivated and left a legacy.”
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677