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CIF title week: Wingenroth - a unique football player

Hart’s Connor Wingenroth has had a storied high school career

Posted: December 4, 2013 10:57 p.m.
Updated: December 4, 2013 10:57 p.m.

Hart's Connor Wingenroth has been one of the most versatile football players the valley has ever seen.

 

How will history judge Hart High senior Connor Wingenroth?

Will he be remembered as the school’s first sophomore starting quarterback in the long tenure of head coach Mike Herrington?

Or maybe people will talk about his incredible versatility to play running back, wide receiver, quarterback and safety last season.

As great as Wingenroth has been in his time at Hart, the final month of his high school football career may very well be his most noteworthy.

Headed into Friday’s CIF-Southern Section Northern Division championship football game against Valencia, he has the chance to cap off a transcendent postseason in the most unlikely circumstances.

Six weeks after separating his shoulder and missing nearly four weeks of action, Wingenroth suddenly unleashed his best three-game performance of his three-year varsity career.

“I think our team just started playing better, which helped me play better and I was a little more confident in my shoulder going into playoffs,” Wingenroth said.

The senior has amassed 731 rushing yards, 56 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in the last three weeks to help Hart advance to its first CIF championship game since 2007.

“We’ve had some good (playoff performances in the past),” Herrington said. “To put up the number he has after being injured like he was, it was pretty outstanding.”

Along the way, Wingenroth broke Delano Howell’s 2006 single-game school rushing record by going for 285 yards in a first-round playoff win over Paso Robles on Nov. 15. The following week against Palos Verdes, he ran for another 278, which also bested Howell’s record of 270.

That’s the same Delano Howell who was a standout at Stanford University and currently plays safety for the Indianapolis Colts.

“His competitive nature reminds me of Delano and his work ethic,” Herrington said of Wingenroth. “Great work ethic. During the offseason and even now, he works really hard. He takes his God-given ability and plus his work ethic, he’s made himself a pretty good football player.”

His unique combination of speed, vision and instinct served him well early in the season too.

With playoff numbers included, Wingenroth is the Foothill League’s leading rusher and scorer this season at 1,506 yards and 24 touchdowns. That’s after missing three games entirely and carrying the ball just once in an Oct. 4 game against Santa Monica before he went down with the injury.

Not counting those four games, he’s averaging 167 yards per game and close to 10 yards per carry.

“He is just a stud so it’s hard to prepare for a kid like him, who has got it all and has got speed like he does,” said Hart quarterback Brady White.

The last time Hart played Valencia, on Nov. 1, it was Wingenroth’s first game back from injury. He played very little, with just 21 yards on seven rushes in the 24-19 loss.

It’s a good bet that he’ll go into Friday’s rematch with full intentions of improving on that performance.

“I’m really looking forward to being a bigger part of the game definitely this time around,” Wingenroth said.

No matter the outcome on Friday, Wingenroth will forever have an eminent tie to the 2013 Hart Indians as well as the greats who came before him.

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