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Former high school stars adjusting to college football

Posted: August 12, 2014 10:37 p.m.
Updated: August 12, 2014 10:37 p.m.

Colgate Athletics/Courtesy photo

Hart graduate Connor Wingenroth catches a ball during a practice with the Colgate University football team. Wingenroth is a freshman at Colgate and he's going through his first college football training camp.

 

Being an average college freshman is tough.

Meeting new people, learning new areas and adjusting to new schedules can be difficult.

The degree of difficulty goes up dramatically, however, when the pressure of football training camp comes into play.

That’s the reality for some of the Santa Clarita Valley’s former football stars as they transition into the college game.

“I’ve never been more confused on a football field at any time in my life,” said former Canyon High quarterback Cade Apsay. “The periods were going really fast. Me and the other quarterbacks were running around from station to station. I was just lost.”

Last year’s Foothill League Player of the Year is in his first year at the University of Colorado and he’s experiencing the college version of fall camp for the first time.

And while he would like to see more of the outside area, his football schedule is keeping him close to campus.

“We go out to dinner and go get food sometimes but for the most part we’re at the facilities from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.,” Apsay said. “Whether it be studying our playbooks or doing homework for summer school, they keep us pretty busy.”

Former Hart Indian Connor Wingenroth had an even bigger adjustment to make as he moved across the country to Hamilton, New York to play at Colgate University.

“It’s really different here. It’s a lot greener than anything I’ve ever seen back in Santa Clarita,” Wingenroth said. “But it’s been fun getting to know the people and the culture.”

The do-it-all Wingenroth has been playing receiver for the Raiders as well as trying to make his mark on special teams by returning punts and coming off the edge on the punt block team.

“I just want to make as much of an impact as I can this year,” he said. “Even if it’s just coming in and giving a guy a breather. I want to play in every game.”

One of the biggest challenges in transitioning from high school to college football is learning a brand new playbook. Luckily, they have people to help them along the way.

“The playbook is a lot bigger and the verbiage is different but the older guys have been helping me out a lot,” Wingenroth said. “I was a little nervous going into the first practice. The speed of the game is faster so it took a little getting used to.”

Apsay said he had a little easier time picking up the playbook because they Colorado system is similar to the one he ran at Canyon.

“They’re very patient with the new guys and the coaches are always open to questions,” he said. “It’s been a little confusing but everything has been going pretty smoothly overall. I’ve had the time of my life so far.“

Going to college also provides the players with another opportunity — the chance to reinvent themselves and make a good impression.

“It’s like starting new,” Wingenroth said. “Nobody really knows who you are so you have the chance to go out and prove yourself. I want to make a name for myself here.”

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