Union County High School is losing a great athlete, but Army-West Point is welcoming him with open arms. Senior quarterback Cole Wright signed with Army last week in a ceremony held with friends, family, coaches and faculty. The four-year letterman threw for 1,938 yards last year, completing 136-of-247 passing attempts with 19 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions.
After signing his letter of intent, TeamFYNSports sat down with Wright to discuss his career at UC and his future as a D1 commit.
TeamFYNSports: What are some of your accomplishments?
“I have maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school and I was named 7-AAA Offensive POY in 2016 and 1st team All-Region in 2017. I was All-State honorable mention in 2016 and 2017. I reached 7000 total yards and 70+ TD’s in two years at QB
TeamFYNSports: How long have you played football?
“ I have played since I was five years old.”
TeamFYNSports: Who have you tried to model your game after?
“I have always loved Tom Brady and his winning mentality and competitiveness. Obviously I’m a different style QB, but I try to imitate his leadership ability and drive.”
TeamFYNSports: What’s your biggest highlight of playing football so far?
“Senior Night would definitely be the highlight of my career. After the game I looked across at my best friends who I’ve grown up playing football with and realized these guys were my brothers for life. It’s a great feeling knowing you’ve created bonds that could never be broken.”
TeamFYNSports: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced, and how has that made you the person you are today?
“My biggest problem was worrying about negativity from outside of my circle. There will always be people saying, “You’ll never make it” and to that I say we’ll see. Once I focused on the game I loved and blocked all of the negativity I started to play better. This helped me grow not only as a football player but a person as well.”
TeamFYNSports: What’s a typical day for you training wise?
“I’ve been on a new West Point workout schedule for the last month and it’s intense. I’m also running track for speed and stamina. I’m working on gaining some weight before I leave, so I’m consuming a large amount of calories per day.”
TeamFYNSports: How have you trained? What have you done differently that has separated you from other quarterbacks?
“I started Speed and Agility freshman year and didn’t miss a day in two years. Joe Mancuso and I would go and throw and I’d learn as much as I could from him. I’m a very coachable guy so I would take little tips and advice from every camp and then try to execute them when I got back home.”
TeamFYNSports: How big of a influence did your parents or coach have on you to continue your playing career at West Point versus any other school?
“My dad was probably my biggest influence. No one in my family has ever had this opportunity to attend an Academy. My dad and I are all about leadership and history; when we toured the campus we both fell in love with the place. West Point offers the combination of a high level education, a chance to play D1 football, and leadership training that can’t be matched at any other school.”
TeamFYNSports: What other schools have offered you?
“No other schools have offered. Kennesaw State, Furman, GA Tech, and Georgia Southern were interested but after I committed they went cold.”
TeamFYNSports: What are your plans once you get to college? What are you going to major in? What position(s) do you plan on playing?
“Once I get to West Point I will begin my tough journey to become the greatest version of myself. I know it will be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life but I will stay mentality strong and prove the doubters wrong. I plan on majoring in aerospace engineering but I am not completely locked on that specific one. I am on the board as a Wide Receiver right now, but I will remain open for whatever position I am needed.”
TeamFYNSports would like to wish Wright the best of luck as he closes one chapter and opens another, with a bright future ahead of him.
By Isaiah Garrett, TeamFYNSports Reporter
On Tuesday, Dec 5, the Union County Panthers held their annual banquet and award ceremony. This event was hosted at Antioch Baptist Church in Blairsville, and it was the first time Antioch had ever hosted the banquet. Organized by the Union County Quarterback Club, the event proved to be another success thanks to the hard work and participation by everyone involved.
The night got kicked off as players and families were fed steak and spaghetti dinners.
Head coach Brian Allison followed up the meal by starting the awards ceremony and introducing all of the coaches on his staff. The awards, which are selected by the coaches, are each given to the hardest working player at that position (and to whom contributed the most on and off the field to the team). The receivers “caught” their awards first – no pun intended.
Outside receiver coach Paul McBride presented his award to Sawyer Drake. Drake had 38 receptions for a team-high 63 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Inside receiver coach James Avery selected senior Austin Pattee for his reward. Pattee led the team with 43 catches.
Quarterbacks and running backs coach (and offensive coordinator) Howard Mccombs was the next to present his award, and everyone in the room knew exactly where it was going. Senior quarterback Cole Wright had an outstanding season. Wright will continue his playing career at the United States Military Academy, also known as Army or West Point, where he plans to enroll next fall. Wright finished the year with 3,081 total yards of offensive and a combined 36 touchdowns.
To close the Offensive awards out, junior lineman Coleson Daniel was presented with the Offensive Line award, presented by coach Neil Setzer and Parker Daniel. Without the effort and consistent blocking up front, the offense would not have performed as well as it did this year. Coleson Daniel was a huge part of that effort.
Defensive Coordinator and defensive backs coach Robby Roxbury was first to kick off the defensive awards, and senior cornerback Sean Dobbins was presented with the defensive backs award. Dobbins finished the season with 50 total tackles.
Senior lineman Matthew Beise was awarded the defensive line award by coach Gabe Miller. Beise finished the season with 48 total tackles.
Inside linebackers coach Greg Chambers awarded senior RJ Banton, who led the team in total tackles with 108 tackles.
Outside Linebackers coach Wade Hodges awarded senior and 3-year varsity starter Cole Dockrey with the Iron Panther award. This award is given to the player who contributes on both sides of the ball, displays the highest work ethic on and off the field, and is a leader in more ways than one. Dockery finished the season with 50 total tackles, 372 yards of offense, and a touchdown.
It was a night of celebration as players, coaches and family members gathered to reflect on the performance by the Union County Panthers varsity football team one last time this year.