Friday 18 October 2019
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WINSTON WRIGHT : From Blue Thunder to a Mountaineer

story by Cindy Burbage
photos by Shelia Scott
The boys of fall capture the Friday nights of high school football fans throughout the country as the gridiron gladiators suit up their armor for the battle field. It’s more than just a weekly football game; it becomes religion for a few short months for the spectators and converts into the only air the players breathe. Meet one of Memorial Day’s gladiators and wide receiver, Winston Wright.
This high school senior’s passion for football began brewing at an early age. “I just loved to watch it on TV and I used to pretend I was in the NFL in the yard; then when I started playing, I just loved it more,” Winston shared. He began playing at seven years old and has not stopped.
The Pooler Recreation Department nurtured his appetite for sports. “I loved the whole Pooler Rec and organization.  It’s all family. I created a lot of memories there and my coach Marvin Cooper was a big part of that; he was my coach in basketball and football and we won a lot of championships. I will always love the community because it’s what made me the person I am today,” Winston reminisced.
His experience with the recreation department gave Winston a hunger for winning, teamwork and doing his absolute best on and off the field. He continued, “I won a state championship in basketball and football both my last year of 12 and under. It was a good accomplishment for the city of Pooler. We made a big name for ourselves.”
Memorial Day School has developed a reputation over the last several years of a fierce competitor on the football field. They have won state titles in 2008- 2009, 2013-15 and 2017 in GISA Class 2A, with Class A state runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2011.They will also have competed for the region championship on November 2, 2018. With a healthy structural beginning in sports, Winston carried his skills onto the Blue Thunder field in full force. He confidently shared he is trained and comfortable playing multiple positions on the field. The skilled offense player is whole heartily invested in doing what it   takes to be the superlative team player.
“I love to spend my time working out and getting better. Because there’s always someone out there working when you’re not, so I try my best to get the most work as possible,” the competitor commented.
Although the physical aspects of football would appear to be the chief force that runs the team, the mentality of the squad is what gives it life. Baltimore Raven’s quarterback and Heisman trophy winner, Robert Griffin III (RGIII) once said, “Football is football and talent is talent. But the mindset of your team makes all the difference.” Blue Thunder makes the difference. Winston humbly shared, “My coaches and teammates are my family. Football is a team sport so without them, I’m nothing. We just do the little things, like bond with each other; it’s more than football for us.”
An incredible team requires a great leader. “It’s been a blessing playing for Coach Michael Thompson. He has taught me a lot on and off the field. He has showed me what it takes to become successful in life. He’s taught me to be respectful, humble, and always remember where you came from,” the wide receiver appreciatively said.
Winston chose his football jersey number during his freshman season. Favorite number or setting a huge goal for his not too distant future? “My high school number is number 4. I wanted that number because I set a goal for myself that I had four years to make that number special and I did it,” the athlete proudly commentated. During his high school football career, Winston had his sight on something bigger than where he was; he wanted a thriving future and recognized football was his pathway.  “I’ve went to a lot of camps and I made a name for myself in the recruiting world. And, as I continue to grind and keep God first, I’ve been blessed.” This high school footballer has had a whopping number of opportunities come in his direction. “I have been blessed to have had 40 plus full scholarship offers to continue my football career and education,” he meekly explained. Schools and teams such as Duke University, University of Central Florida, Temple in Philadelphia, Boston College and Kansas State were just a few that sought after the gifted player. But after much consideration, Winston made his decision. “I’m committed to West Virginia University, so after my high school career and graduation, I will be off to continue my athletic career and education. I just loved the atmosphere, you’re just not playing for the school there, you are playing for the whole state. When I made my visit, it just checked all the boxes in what I was looking for in a school.” He plans to graduate with a degree in business from the West Virginia school.
At just seventeen, Winston Wright is on a fast pace to success. This high school senior has an impressive record on the Blue Thunder field and is sure to only expand his skills on the WVU Mountainteer gridiron as well. Just during his last season as a high school player, he has wowed the crowds with his flair; his statistics are off the charts with 15 catches, for 520 yards and 700 rushing yards. Winston is a force to be reckoned with. He works hard and pushes himself past the limits to lock in victory. The sound of triumph rings much sweeter with the support of loved ones, family, also known as Winston’s biggest cheerleaders. “My family is very supportive. I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today without my mom and dad Latrice and Travis Wright.” The sport is his life and his family is first on his heart.  “I just love the game! I want to be the best I can be in it. You can always get better and that’s what I want to do. I just want to change my family’s life with doing something I love to do.”
“Football is a great deal like life in that it teaches that work, sacrifice, perseverance, competitive drive, selflessness and respect for authority is the price that each and every one of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile”, Coach Vince Lombardi.

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