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Weibert: From Tears to Cheers

PROFILE
 
By Mark Janssen
 
 
Wade Weibert is living a dream.
 
He wanted to play Division I football. He wanted to wear the purple and white of Kansas State.
 
As an 11-year-old growing up in Hillsboro, Kan., he reflects, "I'm embarrassed to say it, but I remember crying when we lost to Texas A&M in that (1998 Big 12) championship game. I was devastated. I don't even think I knew that we would have played for the national championship, but I knew we lost, so I cried."
In those kid years, Weibert visualized himself coming out of the locker room and sprinting on to the field with 50,000 fans screaming for him and his Wildcat teammates.
 
"Last year was so surreal," said the 6-foot-6, 303-pound center of his first playing season with the Wildcats. "In that first game, it was just amazing. In my own mind I had taken the field in a K-State uniform hundreds of times, but it was nothing like the real thing."
 
Weibert's real-life dream is sprinting to a close as his is now one game into his senior season with Saturday's 31-22 victory over UCLA.
 
It's a year, and a team, he has looked so forward to being a part of with three other returning starters in the trenches - guards Zach Kendall and Kenneth Mayfield, plus tackle Clyde Aufner.
 
"We're like a band of brothers," Weibert said. "In past years, the offensive line was always the questionmark, but this year some people look at us as a strength. We know and trust how that guy next to you is going to play. We move as one. We strive to be one solid wall moving as a unit."
 
Weibert points to himself and Kendall as "maulers" in their style of play, while Mayfield gets credit for being the club's best pass blocker.
 
Collectively, he says, "We want to start where we left off last year. We don't want to play a bad game where we can say, 'We can improve.' We want to be good at the start and get better."
 
That's especially true for Weibert, Kendall, Mayfield and reserve Trevor Viers, who are all in their senior seasons.
 
"None of us are considering the next level. Our focus is on this season," said Weibert, who already has a degree in business management and wants to pursue a career as a personal trainer. "Personally, I'm a big planner and looking to the future, but I also know that playing professionally is so much out of your hands. I want to do everything that I can to make the NFL, but my main focus is doing things to make myself better and this team better."
 
The hope is that this 2010 team will be good enough to return to the championship form it was when Weibert was 11.
 
"I'm big into the mental aspect of things," said Weibert. "I have posters - 'If you can conceive the dream you can achieve the dream.'
 
"That 1998 team was so good. They were just relentless on offense and defense," said Weibert. "It was a constant ... attack, attack, attack."
 
 
We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact either Mark Janssen at mjanssen7@cox.net, or Kansas State Director of Athletic Communications/SID Kenny Lannou at klannou@kstatesports.com.