In the “Good Things Happen to Good People” department, Weston Conaway is the latest prime example.
A year ago, after leading Hebron (Texas) High School’s JV team to an undefeated season and district championship and moving up to the Hawks’ varsity roster for the playoffs, Conaway was doing weight training to prepare for his junior season.
He wound up suffering a serious back injury that required three surgeries to repair herniated and bulging disks. While dealing with agonizing pain and difficult sleeping over a four-month stretch, Conaway had plenty of time to think about his football future.
“I hurt my back, had three epidural surgeries and was out six months,” Conaway said. “It was a big challenge. It put me in a spot to decide what I really wanted to do. Did I want to be successful for the next season or not? I really challenged myself over the six months to get better as fast as I could and get stronger to prepare myself for the next year. I thought I did a really good job of doing that and recovered fairly fast from the injury I had. Of course, the experience wasn’t what I intended, but it really made me a better person in the long run.”
Once he was recovered, Conaway made the most of the late start preparing for his junior season with Hebron. He added 25 pounds to his 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame and was feeling good enough to compete in the Duel – NFA’s showcase event – last July in Nashville.
Not only did Conaway compete, he finished first among incoming juniors. “The Duel gave me great confidence,” he said. “It made me feel amazing because it was the first event I participated in after the injury. It was a great thing to have going into the 2019 season. A lot of my coaches saw the Duel results on Twitter and it was awesome. I think it just showed a lot of people that after the injury, I could still make all the passes, I could still do everything.”
Conaway was the Hawks’ backup varsity QB as a junior last season, and his gifted passing ability helped Hebron advance to the third round of the Texas Class 6A playoffs.
When the Hawks needed a big play through the air, Hebron coach Brian Brazil went with the “Conaway Package,” which moved No. 1 quarterback Carson Harris to slot receiver.
As the upcoming season comes into view, Conaway is completely healthy and ready to take over as the Hawks’ starting quarterback and captain for his senior year.
“Everything is coming together and it’s looking awesome,” he said. “We’re all really looking forward to next season. We think we can make a good run and put together something special.”
In addition to playing for the Lone Star Generals, an elite 7-on-7 team, Conaway contines training with QB Collective. “They’ve helped me so much,” he said. “They’ve helped me mentally and they’ve helped me read defenses. Even after I got hurt, I had a couple of mechanical issues that they helped me correct.”
After overcoming so much adversity, Conaway is pumped up for his senior season. “I was a receiver when I started playing football and then I started playing quarterback in fifth grade,” he said. “I love to help people. Going through the off-season and working with all of our brothers, it’s just fun to go out on the field and be able to have control over the team you’ve worked with in the off-season.”