Faces in KS: Connor Lungwitz

WSU baseball commit, Connor Lungwitz, of Maize is ready for a big season at QB in 5A. (Rich Norrod).
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen
Sep 23, 2014

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Maize football has never been known as a statewide power, winning four football games in the state playoffs since making their first appearance back in 1990. The Eagles haven't won a football playoff game in eight years, dating back to 2006. Recently the Eagles have had some success, going 7-3 last season and losing in the first round of the playoffs. Senior quarterback, Connor Lungwitz, is not satisfied and wants improvement. 

"We lost to Manhattan in five OT's in last years first round of the playoffs," Lungwitz said. "That left us with a sick feeling in our stomach and we are eager to improve on that this season."

Lungwitz, a 6-foot-5 205 pounder, and the arrival of head coach, Gary Guzman, in 2011 have had a huge part in the Eagles recent success. As a sophomore in 2012, he passed for 2,043 yards and 23 touchdowns in leading the Eagles to a 5-4 record, but missed the playoffs. Last season, he threw for 1,957 yards and 28 touchdowns, putting Maize in the playoffs for the first time since 2009. He has already passed for 790 and 7 touchdowns through the air, while rushing for two more in three games in leading the Eagles to a 2-1 start in 2014. Maize's win over 6A Derby in week one was one of the better wins in the history of its program, a team they lost to (62-13) in 2013. He has quietly became one of the top quarterbacks in the state over the past three seasons. 

"The season has gotten off to a good start, 2-1 and beating two great teams and losing a heart breaker to Salina Central last week," Lungwitz said. "For me personally, it's been good. Really understanding the game and enjoying my senior year."

Not only is Lungwitz one of the top signal callers in Kansas, he doubles as one of the best baseball players in the sunflower state. Featuring a fastball in the low nineties, he went 7-1 on the mound with a 1.31 ERA last season for the Eagles. Lungwitz has committed to play baseball at Wichita State next season and may see his name in the 2015 MLB Draft this summer. Growing up a WSU fan ultimately led to Lungwitz commitment.

"I've been a lifelong Shocker fan, having season tickets to both baseball and basketball." Lungwitz said. 

Lungwitz still doesn't think of himself as a big time quarterback. Maybe it's because he doesn't hold any division one offers. He only uses that as motivation to get better.

"I have no offers for football and I am always thinking maybe I am not that good, but I use it as motivation to get better. Someone else out there is better and working harder. Having that in the back of my mind every day really keeps me motivated." Lungwitz said.

A big reason for Lungwitz recent success has been his favorite target on offense, Kendall Stewart. Stewart was a first team All-6A receiver a year ago. 

"All I have to do is get the ball to Kendal and he makes plays. He's an incredible weapon to have on offense." Lungwitz said. 

Maize, now 5A after dropping down from 6A last season, lost to Salina Central (29-28) last Friday but will look to get back on the winning track of things this week against Haysville-Campus on Friday. The Eagles are in a loaded 5A district that features the number one team in 5A, Bishop Carroll (3-0), rival Maize South (2-1) and Valley Center (1-2) with only two playoff spots on the line. Look for Lungwitz and the Eagles to make some noise in 5A this season. We caught up with him below...

Q&A w/ Lungwitz

How did you get involved in athletics?

My parents got me started in sports when I was 4 years old. T-ball and basketball and flag football a few years later. Started tackle football in 3rd grade.

Talk about how last football season went for you and your team?

Solid season. The best in Maize's recent history with a 7-3 record and I think we exceeded most peoples expectations. We had a huge win over Salina South when they were ranked one in the state. Lost a heart breaker in 5 OTs to Manhattan in the playoffs. That left us with a sick feeling in our stomach and eager to improve once again this year.

Any goals for you this season?

Get better every game, and play together. Obviously the ultimate goal is to win a state championship. That’s really what you play for.

What are the teams expectations in 2014?

Win the league, and make a run in the playoffs. Play the best football we are capable of.

What will it take to make a run in 5A this season?

We will have to be near perfect. 5A is loaded with great teams this year and if we want to have a legit chance at a title we are going to have to come to practice and get better every day and play perfect of Friday nights.

What do your opponents look like this season?

Very tough schedule. AVCTL Division I doesn't get much harder, there are really no easy games. Open up with the defending 6A champs and then week two travel to Garden where it's a very tough place to play. Also have Hutch who is always good and well coached, and then of course Bishop Carroll who always seems to be ranked top of the state.

Biggest rival?

I'd say Derby and Hutch are up there, not a whole lot of love there. But biggest rival would have to Maize South

How has the season went so far for you?

The season gotten off to a good start, 2-1 and beating two great teams and losing a heart breaker to Salina Central. For me personally, it's been good. Really understanding the game and enjoying my senior year.

Talk about some of the key players for the Eagles?

Kendal Stewart, who has great speed and play make ability. Elijah West is our safety and he's simply a play maker, especially when you need him to be. Two other great weapons are RB Jordan Guerraro and Gabe Chavez.

What is it like to have a WR like Kendall Stewart?

 It's great. He makes it easy on me, all I got to do is get him the ball and he makes the plays. He's an incredible weapon for our offense and really contributes to our success.

What do you use as motivation to become a better player?

I think always just having that chip on my shoulder. I have no offers for football and just always thinking maybe I'm not that good. Someone else out there is better and working harder. Having that in the back of my mind every day really keeps me motivated to get better.

You chose WSU for baseball, who else were you recruited by, seeing any football looks?

WSU was the only school for baseball, and they got an early commitment from me. I've been in contact with pro teams as well throughout the summer. Football looks: Oklahoma st., Boise St., A few MAC schools, NW Missouri St., and Missouri St.

Favorite subject in school?

Math

Do you play any other sports besides baseball and football?

Basketball

Can you beat your sister in one-on-one basketball (Paige Lungwitz – former Maize all state player now at Pitt State)?

Tough question haha, umm if you take out the physicality of it and don't let me post her up, then she will beat me 9 out of 10 times. So I'd say no she'd beat me.

What is it like to grow up in the Wichita area?

It's great, really home feeling to it in the suburbs. Fun place to be especially being life long Shocker fans and having season tickets to basketball and baseball.

How is it to play for your coaches?

Fun, I enjoy the game and love all our coaches. We have great coaches and really just buy into what they teach.

Best opposing player you've faced in high school?

Probably De'andre Goolsby (Derby/Florida), crazy athletic.

When you aren't playing sports, what do you do for fun?

Spend time with my friends and family. Play a lot of Xbox.

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

I hate roller coasters, I'm a baby when it comes to them.