Young Sidney athlete choosing his top sport

By March, Connor Way is going to have to make a tough decision about his future, both in education and in sports.

Sidney's Connor Way

By March, Connor Way is going to have to make a tough decision about his future, both in education and in sports — his theatre participation be darned.

The Sidney 13-year-old  and Grade 9 student currently attends St. Michaels University School and excels in rugby, football, basketball and more. However, he’s debating about his future and which sport he will eventually see through to higher levels.

March is the deadline to enroll in courses at SMUS for the next school year. While he says he loves going to school there, Way says he’s liking football even more and is seriously considering moving to Mt. Doug Secondary to join their strong football program. SMUS, he says, does not have a football program.

He says he’s leaning toward the latter, but has time yet to make his final decision.

Those are some tough choices for a young man.

Way started his athletic path at age six by way of pre-Atom spring football with the Peninsula Wildcats community team. He played three seasons with the club before moving up to Atoms (two more seasons) and currently plays at the Peewee level. This March, he starts his second season with the Peewee Wildcats.

Football has, so far, been good to him. In 2013, he was the Wildcats’ defensive MVP — which he repeated in 2014, adding in an offensive MVP award with the Victoria Renegades football club just this month.

The Renegades, you ask?

Yet another community football team Way has found time for, this after playing with the Victoria Hitmen, an age group below the Renegades. With those same Hitmen (players age 10-12),  Way contributed to a provincial championship in 2010.

He aged out and joined the Renegades and in 2013 they made the provincial semi-finals. Last year, the Renegades had a tougher road to follow. Way’s mom, Shauna Dorko says the team was basically shuffled to the sidelines when other teams in their league felt they were “too stacked” and didn’t want to play them. They eventually fought their way to the provincials, she says, and beat everyone in so doing.

That was frustrating, Dorko says, adding neither she nor her son know what will happen with the Renegades next season, as Way ages out from that team as well, moving up to high school football.

Rugby threw a small wrench into the works when Way was in Grade 8. After being asked to try out, Way says he found he was pretty good at that sport, too.

So good, that he has earned spots on both the B.C. football and rugby teams, getting the opportunity to play with high-level coaches and players in B.C., Alberta and Washington State.

He will soon start trying out for the Under 15 Team B.C. football  squad — and that means additional travel to the mainland.

Family life these days, “is all about sports,” says mom.

Way is training three or four times a week. Throw in other sports, classes and the theatre rehearsals and it can make for busy days.

Typically, Way says he wakes at 6 a.m. and catches the bus to SMUS by 6:55 for classes to start at 8:10. After school ends at 3:10 p.m., he catches the bus home, gets changed for a practice or game and is home by around 8:30. After homework, its time to hit the hay.

Way says he doesn’t mind the long days and hard work.

After all, he says he’s living every kid’s dream.