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Winfield’s Sutton named 2018 GAC football player of the year

Winfield senior quarterback Collin Sutton [Photo courtesy of the Winfield High School]

It was not a trip to the Class 3 semifinals or a state championship game, but Nov. 21 will easily go down as the day that put the exclamation point on Winfield High School football standout Collin Sutton’s career.

Sutton, the Warriors’ dual-threat senior quarterback, was named the Gateway Athletic Conference player of the year.

The award was a pleasant surprise for Sutton, who had to beat out top players such as Fort Zumwalt East quarterback Ben Watson, Fort Zumwalt North running back/linebacker Jaylin Vaughn, Holt standout quarterback Cole Mueller, and Francis Howell quarterback Aidan McDaniel.

“That’s a pretty good group of athletes and I was pretty excited when I found out,” Sutton said. “I was really surprised because I didn’t know what was happening and after I found out, I felt pretty accomplished.”

Being accomplished was a regular facet of Sutton’s performance on the field as a three-year starter with Winfield. He garnered first-team all GAC-North and all-district honors and was also named the GAC North player of the year.

In his senior season, he ran for 2,141 yards and 30 touchdowns and threw for 1,328 yard and 18 touchdowns with just six interceptions. Sutton accounted for 80 percent of his team’s offense on the ground and through the air.

He credited his offensive line and receivers with being able to have a breakout senior season. “I can’t really do much without my linemen. They were able to do their jobs and helped me be able to do my job,” Sutton said. “The receivers needed to be able to catch the ball and that opened things up for me to run the ball.”

Winfield coach Keith McGlasson pointed to Sutton’s playmaking ability and leadership, which helped drive the Warriors to a school-record seven wins this fall.

“Pretty much anytime Collin touches the ball, we’re going to have a chance to score a touchdown, and everybody that we play knows that,” McGlasson said. “He’s very smart, introspective and leads with what he does on the field but also the way he is in school and the way he is around the community. He’s just a good, all-around kid.”

Four years ago, Winfield was not known as a football titan. The Warriors were 0-10 in 2014.

Sutton and his senior teammates took their lumps as freshmen and sophomores. Then, after improving to 4-6 in their junior year, everything came together on the field for them finishing with a 7-4 campaign.

“It was a good four years and we’ve started the foundation and we’re trying to build something. I think we did a pretty good job of that,” Sutton said.

Winfield athletic director Robert James said that Sutton’s and Warriors’ success on the gridiron this season has buoyed the spirits of the school and put the it on the map as a successful football program.

“The overall school pride in coming to football games and the environment in school, the excitement about Friday Night football, is something we didn’t see four to five years ago like we did this year,” James said. “Hopefully, we can build off this. These guys have really set a good foundation for future Warriors.”

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