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2013-14 Signal Most Exciting Athletes of the Year: Hart's Lewis Stallworth and Connor Wingenroth

Posted: July 11, 2014 10:06 p.m.
Updated: July 11, 2014 10:06 p.m.

Hart's Lewis Stallworth was an All-CIF selection in Southern Section Division IIA and he was The Signal's All-SCV Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

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The best way to explain how an athlete can qualify as exciting is to define the term — and not simply in a dictionary sense.

In the context of sports, the word exciting refers to something intangible. It’s not something that can be measured by something concrete like statistics or physical attributes.

It’s that feeling you get when the hairs on your neck stand up and the adrenaline starts to flow when you sense it.

That feeling comes along when you hear the crack of the bat or you see the crowd react to a big dunk or a big breakaway run or a record-breaking swim.

That’s what The Signal’s sports staff voted on for its newest category in our annual Signal Sports Awards — Most Exciting Athlete of the Year.

There were two athletes who moved the needle unlike any other and likely generated more crowd noise than any other pairing in the SCV this season.

Hart seniors Connor Wingenroth and Lewis Stallworth are the co-winners of The Signal’s inaugural Most Exciting Athlete of the Year award.

It was those two who lifted the spirits of audiences and crushed the dreams of opponents unlike any others.

In the fall, it was Wingenroth who was breaking free from defenders and outrunning opponents to the end zone.

And it was those same audiences and same dreams involved in the winter months, when Stallworth was lighting up gyms with his highlight-reel-worthy play.

Both players were so dynamic it’s difficult to pigeonhole either one in a specific position or style.

Wingenroth was a running back, a slot receiver and a defensive back.

Stallworth was a jump-shooter, a driver, a disher and a dunker. Everyone waited to see what he was going to do next, whether it was putting the finishing touches on an alley-oop or breaking the rim during the SCV Hoops Finale all-star basketball game.

When these guys had the ball in their hands, it was usually game over.

Wingenroth was the centerpiece of one of the most prolific offenses in the state that carried Hart to a CIF-SS Northern Division championship victory.

Stallworth, who will continue playing at University of Texas at El Paso next season, orchestrated the SCV’s most efficient run-and-gun offense that led Hart to a Foothill League title and a 26-3 finishing record.

Years from now, people may read about these two athletes and their awards, their numbers and their records.

The Colgate University-bound Wingenroth will be remembered as the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division Offensive Player of the Year and the Signal’s All-SCV Football Player of the Year.

People will talk about the time he broke Hart’s single-game rushing record with a 285-yard performance against Paso Robles in the playoffs on Nov. 15.

He wound up with 1,698 yards and 21 touchdowns rushing along with 411 yards and four scores receiving.

And with Stallworth, he made his mark by earning All-CIF distinction in Southern Section Division IIA and he was voted the Foothill Player of the Year after scoring an average of 20 points per game.

But only those who saw them with their own eyes can truly appreciate and understand what kind of excitement they both generated.

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