All-Eagle football: Offensive MVP Wells leads Warrior offense
Hi. You're my quarterback.
That wasn't exactly how Ethan Wells became the quarterback at Wahconah, but it wasn't that far from what actually happened, either.
As Wells recalls it, after his junior year, Wahconah coach Gary Campbell Jr. went to Wells and said he would be in the mix to start at quarterback in 2013.
Wells, who had been a running back and linebacker, attacked the idea with vigor.
"I was actually excited to have the ball in my hands every play," he said. "I was flattered that he thought I could handle it."
Handle it he did, and well enough to earn the All-Eagle offensive most valuable player honor.
Wells led the Warriors in total offense with 688 yards passing and 934 yards rushing. He accounted for 19 touchdowns.
"He was a three-sport athlete. He was a kid who made sense," said Campbell.
And to think, Wells almost didn't get a chance to win this honor. That's because, for a long time, he didn't play football.
Growing up in Dalton, Wells was a soccer player. He finally switched in the seventh grade.
"I'd always played soccer from when I was little. We were always a football family and my dad [Tim] told me to try it," said Wells. "Eli Pease and I switched in the same year. We both loved it and stuck with it."
Pease was a running back on this fall's Wahconah team and another member of the All-Eagle offense.
It was not, however, love at first sight for Wells.
"I was always a little apprehensive to be honest with you," he said. "I was always afraid of being caught under the pile when I was little."
The like Wells had at the start of his football career turned into love. The love affair with football started slowly because Wells, who played linebacker on defense and was a running back and a tight end in the Dalton youth program, didn't always play well.
It all changed when he arrived at Wahconah and once he got rolling with the Warriors, learned to love the game.
At Wahconah, Wells played blocking back and running back and was a linebacker on defense.
Then in the offseason between 2012 and 2013, Campbell said he might be moving Wells to quarterback. He said he started watching film, throwing the football and working on his footwork in preparation for summer practice.
In his time at Wahconah and for the six years he coached at Berwick (Pa.), Campbell usually had quarterbacks who had played the position before. While that wasn't the case with Wells, it was a decision the veteran coach had no trepidation about making.
"No, not at all. He's a leader," said Campbell. "He believes in himself and he knows how to compete. The self-confidence allowed him to improve."
As far as Wells was concerned, there was no second-guessing when it came to the position change. The new Wahconah quarterback didn't have any sleepless nights. He just remembered what quarterbacks before him had done.
"I had Lane [Grogan] to watch last year. I had good quarterbacks growing up," he said. "I knew what I was getting myself into a little bit. I could throw the football. I could run the football. I thought ‘Why not me?' "
The one-year quarterback is looking to play college football at either RPI or WPI, where he's been accepted. Wells figures that he'll play defensive back or running back at the next level.
But he takes a Western Massachusetts championship and an MVP award with him to that next level.
"Not a lot of people have the senior season we did," he said. "It was a good ride."
To reach Howard Herman:
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On Twitter: @howardherman
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