In 17 Varsity Games Connor Shugart has compiled a fairly impressive resume. 164 tackles, 14 TFL , 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 FF.There is also what will be forever known in Spartanburg Vikings history as “THE PICK”, a thrilling interception with 47 seconds left in the Dorman game to seal the win.
BEAT DORMAN. Sorry,I had to say it.
Through all his intensity as a player Connor has not lost site of his foundation as a person.”My family is my biggest supporters in everything I do. They really shaped me into the person I am now,” Connor said. “My mom and dad, Amanda Shugart and Henry Shugart. Also, I have 2 brothers, a sister and 4 step brothers. Aiden, Mason, Reese, Silas, Julian, Josiah, Micah. All of them support me on and off the field.”
“I always say to play defense you must have an animal mentality, on defense your you. You control what happens and yes you have your plays to run but when it comes down to it defense is just who wants to get to the ball the most”,he added.”I play football because I love to compete, and it is what I’m best at. I’ve always loved the rush of making big plays and getting pumped up with my team….there’s nothing better.”
Personally,I think there may not be a better Linebacker in the state.Plain and simply put Connor Shugart is a beast,a play maker and encompasses everything a Viking Player and Student should be. A leader.He leads by example and takes a huge amount of pride in being a leader of the team. I know this,because I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it when he flies after a screen pass like his feet are on fire.I see every play he plays with a huge cast on his arm,like it’s the last down on Earth. Connor said about his injury,”I got hurt in a 7 on 7 tournament over the summer and I had to get surgery to repair it. I will have the club on for a few more weeks,Wearing the cast/club in the games really doesn’t change how I play that much.”
A hard-nosed linebacker who plays through injuries??? Anyone remember, Geoff Gibbon??.
When I asked Connor about how he got started in Football he was quick to respond,”I started playing football when I was 5 for Clifdale My brother and I were on the same team and we would fight over who got #97 and #98, we both wanted the highest number the would give us.”
There is only one thing that will make brothers fight over jersey numbers.THE LOVE OF THE GAME. Shugart added, “I play football because I love to compete, and it’s what I’m best at. I’ve always loved the rush of making big plays and getting pumped up with my team….there’s nothing better.”
Early into practice this season Connor got to meet his favorite linebacker Luke Kuechly of the CAROLINA PANTHERS. “It was a great experience for me and my team mates,we got to do something that nobody else has done.I thank God for everything that he has done in my life .I’m very fortunate and thankful for the opportunities and people God has blessed me with. This truly is what makes me the PERSON I am now.My coaches have really made me the PLAYER I am, My Teammates and I are so grateful to have such a great coaching staff at Spartanburg High School.”
Connor jokingly said his”favorite subject changes from year to year depending on who his teacher is.” After High School he plans to attend College and Play Football.Which dosen’t surprise me at all. Truth be known if he was 2 inches taller and had his “freshman 15”,he would probably have dozens of offers to go along with his offer from Kentucky Christian University.
Connor Shugart is a Linebacker.The entire essence of what that football term means is embodied in this young man.A run stopper with the skills to drop into coverage.A hard nosed kid who tackles with 4.6 speed.A leader who continues to grow from the support of his family,coaches and teammates.
Determination and Faith go a long way…