Wright drafted to San Diego Chargers
By Gary Montgomery, BVN Staff –
“This is the happiest day of my life. I can’t imagine anytime I have ever been any happier than I am right now” said former Colton High and USC star Shereece Wright. ‘I have worked so hard and waited so long for this day”.
Wright uttered those words short ly after receiving a telephone call confirming that he would soon be taking the short trip down I-15 to sign an employment contract with the San Diego Chargers. The team had just chosen him in the third round as the 89th overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft.
Surrounded by as many as 100 family members and friends at his pre-draft celebration in Ontario Mills, Wright answered his cell phone and the room erupted in cheers. After a brief 5-10 minute phone conversation with Chargers’ team officials the announcement was broadcast on ESPN and the room erupted all over again. This time with hugs cheers and screams that continued for the next 20 minutes until they were muted only to allow Shareece to hear the many congratulatory calls that starting pouring in from friends and loved ones who could not be present.
“This could not have happened to a better young man,” said long time friend Ricardo Martinez a retired city worker whose wife has known Wright since his Pop Warner days. “I was playing cards when my wife called and said I had to come home.” She said:
“Shareece is having a draft party and he wants’ us to be there.” All of the attendees were either family members or lifelong friends from Wright’s Colton neighbor and each had their own funny stories to share about Wright.
Shareece starred at Colton High School before accepting a scholarship to USC. Former Trojan Head Coach Pete Carroll once said that Wright was the best cover corner he had ever seen. A huge compliment coming from someone with Carroll’s breadth of experience. But sports can be a tough road at times and the game of football can be extremely cruel, as Wright would discover during the next five years.
After solid contributions at cornerback during his freshman and sophomore seasons Wright was prepared to take over the staring duties in his junior season when he suffered a neck injury after only two games and was forced to miss the entire season.
After recovering from injury and ready to return to the starting lineup Wright encountered eligibility issues and was forced to miss additional playing time.
Through all of the setbacks and injuries, Wright maintained his intense desire and determination.
Finally, returning to the starting lineup in 2010 for his senior campaign under a new head coach, a new system and to top it off the program had been sacked by the NCAA prevent ing them from post-season play. Pete Carroll had departed and Lane Kiffin was the new head coach.
As the most experienced player in the defensive secondary Wright was called upon to be the catalyst, keeping things together on a defensive unit that routinely challenged.
Through it all Wright has stayed humble, focused and grounded. He maintained his congeniality with the media and has always been generous with his time. He and fellow Colton and USC teammate Allen Bradford make routine trips back to neighborhood schools to talk to kids and attend football games when possible.
Shareece’s advice to young players is simple. “It’s hard. Nothing comes easy. You have to always be aware of your actions and then be prepared to take responsibility for them. I ignore negativism and unwarranted criticism and just move on. I don’t even read it. I know who I am and they don’t.”
It’s obvious that Wright garners many of his virtues from his strong bond with his family and friends. Joined by his Brother Shamon, Mother Lavette, Grandfather, Uncles, Aunts, and Cousins to share in the joy of this once in a lifetime special day.
Even before inking a contract, Wright has developed a vision for his soon to be youth foundation to help underprivileged kids that he plans to start after he joins the Chargers. Wright’s signing will likely provide much needed help to an undermanned Chargers’ secondary that struggled badly last season.
Amazingly, Colton High had three members of its 2005 Championship team drafted in the 2011 NFL draft. Jimmy Smith was drafted as the 27th pick by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round. Allen Bradford was drafted as the 187th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Shareece by the Chargers.
G.Montgomery can be reached at email@example.com
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