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Faces in KS: Jonah Weber

Jonah Weber is back for Hanover in 8M-II. (photo: Marie Bruna)
By: Hunter Corneliusen w/ Chet Kuplen
Aug 25, 2019

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Unlike most standout high school football players, Jonah Weber did not play pop warner or youth league football growing up. In fact, he did not play organized football until the seventh grade.

“I wasn't interested in football throughout my youth,” Weber stated. “I honestly didn't know a thing about it until 7th grade. When Jr. High football was just around the corner, my life friend "Los", Carlos Emanuel, talked me into trying it out. Ever since then I've always loved the sport.”

While he might have started later than his counterparts it is safe to say he has caught up with them on the gridiron.

Weber will be a third-year starter this fall on Hanover’s offensive and defensive lines. Last year Weber played a large role in the Wildcat’s undefeated season which ended with a state title. As a result of his efforts, he brought home a plethora of honors being named first-team all-state and all-league at both positions while also being named to the Sports in Kansas non-seniors list.

Standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing 250 pounds Weber possesses size that is rarely seen at the eight-man level.

“My size and speed give me an advantage,” he stated, “My coaches making sure I'm prepared for whatever could be thrown at me every week.”

Weber currently holds interest from colleges but is still considering his options at this time when it comes to playing at the next level.

“I've had interest from some colleges throughout the area,” Weber stated. “I still am undecided as to if I'll play at the next level or not.”

For the time being Weber and his teammates have a lot of high goals they would like to accomplish in 2019.

“Of course, every team should have the main goal of winning a championship,” he stated.  “That's my top priority currently. Besides that, breaking the Kansas 8-Man consecutive win record (win the first 4 games of our regular season), getting better every day at practice, and building chemistry with my teammates are all goals to stay focused on.”

Although Weber is the only returning starter from the Wildcats 2018 team he still thinks they will have a big year and are primed for a state-run.

“Without a doubt,” he stated. “We're going to need a lot of players to step up and fill empty roles from last year's team, something that won't be an easy task. However, I see a lot of potential with the group we have. The size that we had last year will be something that'll be missed, but this next year's team is very quick and explosive. “

When asked about key players Weber was quick to point out that everyone plays a big role in Hanover’s success not just the players on the field.

“Everyone on the roster stands significance to the team in my eyes,” stated Weber. “From the waterboys, anybody injured who can't play, or the freshman holding the dummies; they don't get enough credit then they should. Without everybody stepping up and filling a role for the team, we wouldn't have scrimmages to help game plan every Thursday. We wouldn't have water on the 100-degree practices. We wouldn't have a sideline of roaring voices going crazy when a big hit is made. Individually, however, Taegan Schwartz will be a defensive anchor for our linebacker core, Tyler Bonser and Colin Juneman will be studs on offense as well.”

The Wildcats start their season and quest to defend last year’s state title on Friday, September 6th as they play host to the Pike Valley Panthers.

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This feature is presented by B&W Electric in Hanover, Kansas. Best of luck to Jonah Weber and the Wildcats this season! 

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Q&A w/ Jonah Weber 

How did you get involved in football?

I wasn't interested in football throughout my youth, I honestly didn't know a thing about it until 7th grade. When Jr. High football was just around the corner, my life friend "Los", Carlos Emanuel, talked me into trying it out. Ever since then I've always loved the sport. 

What are your goals this season?

Of course every team should have the main goal of winning a championship,  that's my top priority currently. Besides that, breaking the Kansas 8-Man consecutive win record (win the first 4 games of our regular season), getting better every day at practice, and building chemistry with my teammates are all goals to stay focused on. 

Do you guys have a shot to make a run this year?

Without a doubt. We're going to need a lot of players to step up and fill empty roles from last year's team, something that won't be an easy task. However, I see a lot of potential with the group we have. The size that we had last year will be something that'll be missed, but this next year's team is very quick and explosive. 

What makes you such a force as a player?

My size and speed gives me an advantage, and my coaches making sure I'm prepared for whatever could be thrown at me every week. 

What’s the atmosphere like to play football on Friday night for your school and town?

The atmosphere is amazing. Hanover, although being a small town, knows how to come together and support the Wildcats!

For anyone that hasn’t seen one of your games, why come to one? 

Everyone makes the assumption small school aren't competitive. There are ballers at every level. I think everyone should come to a game to see how high speed and competitive it actually is.

Who are other key players on your team?

Everyone on the roster stands significance to the team in my eyes. From the waterboys, anybody injured who can't play, or the freshman holding the dummies; they don't get enough credit then they should. With out everybody stepping up and filling a role for the team, we wouldn't have scrimmages to help game plan every Thursday. We wouldn't have water on the 100 degree practices. We wouldn't have a side line of roaring voices going crazy when a big hit is made. Individually however, Taegan Schwartz will be a defensive anchor for our linebacker core, Tyler Bonser & Colin Juneman will be studs on offense as well. 

Favorite thing about football?

The bonding on the field you have with your teammates. Through summer weights, camps, school, and all the practices, the brotherhood that comes from it is truly something beautiful. Every time the huddle breaks, I know that my teammates have my back. 

Do you play any other sports, tell us about that, what other positions do you play?

Let's just say this… nobody wants to go 1 on 1 with me in a Frisbee Golf match. 

What is it like to play for your coach?

Coach Heuer is a fantastic coach. His grasp on the game is second to none. His resume speaks words for the amount of effort and dedication he puts into our football team. I also don't want to forget the assistant coaches, Coach Biekman & Coach Bruna. Without them, nothing would run as smooth as it should. 

What did you and the team do in the off-season to become  better?

Lift weights every morning/evening. We also have football camp every week and we work on fundamentals to make sure we're ready  when the first practice comes. For myself, I've been working on coming out explosive and using my hands to defeat the block. Also doing 1 on 1s in my backyard with Los a couple times a week. 

What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?

I've had interest from some colleges throughout the area, but still am undecided as to if I'll play at the next level or not.

Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?

I spend a lot of time listening to all sorts of music and hanging out with my friends. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

Pursuing a career that fits with my college major. 

Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you, GPA?

My favorite subject is English. I'm a good student, but I'm also not afraid to crack a joke. GPA : 3.25

Who is your role model? 

I really don't think I have a specific "role model" that I try to follow, I hope to be the best version of myself that  I can be. 

Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?

Gametime Sports Bar in Washington. The chef there has cooking mastered to an art and always has the best specials out of any restaurant around here.

One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you? 

I absolutely love cooking. Anytime that me and the guys in my class go camping, I'm always up early making us a bite to eat. My family owned a restaurant for most of my life, so it came pretty easily.  

Anything else to add?

Nothing except for that I'm so excited for this upcoming season. Also thank you to Sports in Kansas for letting me get the opportunity to do this interview.