St. Genevieves Camdan McWright shines under the tutelage of former soccer star CJ Gable – Daily News
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One of the best ways to learn is to take on knowledge from those who are in front of you. It wasn’t that easy for St. Genevieve Sr., who ran back Camdan McWright … at first.
“We got a new running back coach in my junior year and we just didn’t click,” said McWright.
McWright didn’t exactly set the world on fire. He stormed second for 364 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games.
It certainly pale in comparison to what the new running backs coach did in high school, former Sylmar and USC standout CJ Gable.
“Yeah, he wasn’t very happy with me at first,” said Gable of McWright. “That’s because my mindset is to prepare these kids for the next level. I was with him the whole time. ”
McWright was man enough to admit why he didn’t want Gable right away.
“To be honest, he hurt my feelings,” McWright said with a laugh. “But I’ve learned that I need that. He is blunt and to the point. He’s trying to help me. ”
St. Genevieve running backs trainer CJ Gable (left), a former Sylmar High and USC standout, now shares knowledge with St. Genevieve senior tailback Camdan McWright. (Tarek Fattal)
If you’re familiar with high school football in the San Fernando Valley, Gable’s name will catch your eye. Considered a great city section, having run 2,023 yards and 23 touchdowns in his junior season and 2,117 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior before joining USC. He spent some time in the NFL and then played in the Canadian Football League for six years.
Like a seasoned mechanic working on a powerful engine, Gable tinkered and broke through to McWright. Now they are inseparable.
“This is my type now,” said McWright. “We have extra work on the weekend. He is so knowledgeable. He helps me slow things down. ”
McWright had what St. Genevieve head coach Billy Parra called “breakout season” this spring, storming 774 yards and eight touchdowns in five games. The Valiants went 4-1 in the spring – their only defeat against Harvard-Westlake, 20:19.
St. Genevieve are unbeaten 3-0 in three games this fall, including a 56-28 revenge win against Harvard-Westlake.
“Coach Parra has told us to take it like any other game, not too low or too high,” said McWright of the Harvard-Westlake win. “But personally, I circled that on my calendar.”
McWright ran for 212 yards and four touchdowns with 15 carries against the Wolverines. He has up to 509 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
The last CIF title from St. Genevieve came in 1978. The program has had successful seasons since then but is viewed as a small program competing in its own “weight class,” so to speak. McWright’s talents may not change that perception (or reality), especially if the program shares a valley with traditional schools like Chaminade, Crespi, Alemany, Notre Dame, and the emerging powerhouse Sierra Canyon.
But McWright’s efforts can certainly make noise. That’s what Gable McWright always says.
“I’ll never forget when I was with Sylmar Junior and we played in North Hollywood. They had Marlon Lucky, he was one of the best running backs in the nation at the time, ”recalls Gable. “I knew there would be college coaches there watching Marlon, he was a senior. I ran 300 yards and scored four touchdowns. I made noise that day. ”
McWright has a solid 6-foot-1,190-pound frame and is a 4.3 student. He runs a 10.7 100-meter run and has been to St. Genevieve with 16 other seniors every four years. He’s proud of that.
“We’re a gang of brothers here,” said McWright. “I think it’s special.”
McWright also plays linebacker, at 26 he is one of the team’s top tackers this season.
“He’s not a ‘me-player’, he’s a ‘we-player’,” said Gable of McWright.
McWright’s college recruitment is on the rise. He has already received an offer from the army. Stanford was in the game against Harvard-Westlake, and programs like Utah and Vanderbilt have shown interest. Many able athletes like McWright feel behind their recruitment due to the COVID-19 pandemic that left this senior class out of a fall season. But McWright doesn’t feel that way.
“I’m exactly where I want to be,” he said.
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