SE: The Epitome of a Leadership Position

By Kelly McHugh

Stanton Weber may have some added weight on his shoulders entering the 2015 football season, but it’s nothing he can’t handle.

The Wildcat special teams standout/wide receiver from Overland Park, Kansas, has put himself in positions of leadership his entire life. So, now that he’s in a leadership position he dubbed, “the epitome of it all,” he’s ready.

Weber was voted one of the Wildcats’ five team captains earlier this year, and it’s a position that he is not taking lightly.

Not lightly at all.

“The position I’m in, it’s been awesome,” began Weber early last week at the Big 12 Football Media Days in Dallas, Texas. “It’s a different dynamic because, since I’m a special teams guy, I’m not necessarily out there making plays all the time. So, to have guys’ respect in what I say is a great testament to our team’s appreciation for special teams. It’s something I don’t take for granted.”

Growing up, Weber knew a thing or two about the Wildcats. He traveled to Manhattan with his family on game days, knew all the players and even describes himself as “kind of a K-State football historian.”

His father, Stan Weber, played a key role in building his son’s passion for K-State. A long-time color analyst for the K-State Sports Network, Stan played quarterback for the Wildcats from 1980 to 1984.

“I’m very proud of Stanton because it’s such an honor to be a captain at Kansas State, especially with Bill Snyder as the head coach,” said Stan. “You think about K-State football, and it’s all about the players with their internal leadership doing the right thing, learning from Coach Snyder, implementing the 16 Goals for Success. To think Stanton is there, responsible for that, in direct contact with Coach Snyder trying to lead our Kansas State Wildcat football team, my son is in that role; it’s incredible.”

Stan and Stanton’s worlds collided last week as they saw each other in Dallas at Big 12 Football Media Days – Stan conducting radio interviews while Stanton was on the other side of the recorder answering questions.

“We did a joint interview with the (Kansas City) Star; it was a lot of fun,” said Stanton with a smile during his first trip to the Big 12’s annual event. “I really appreciate the fact that I get to share things like this with him because family is such an important thing to me.”

Added his father, “It’s very exciting because media day is a unique opportunity that only a few guys on each team have the chance to experience. Having all the media together, to us, we get kind of used to it, but to have him experience it is something I think is really neat.”

As well as leading the team with fellow team captains Morgan Burns, Cody Whitehair, Travis Britz and Dante Barnett (you can click here to check out K-State Sports Extra’s write up on this year’s team captains), Stanton is also the 2015-16 President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) – an elite leadership group that serves as a connection between all athletic teams, administration and the K-State community.

“Equipped? You know, I feel very equipped,” said Weber about being a leader for K-State this season. “It’s my nature. Even when I was a little kid, people would say I was a leader. I was the captain of my football team, my basketball team and my baseball team in high school, I’m the president of SAAC, I was recruitment chair of my fraternity for three years. So I’ve been in leadership positions throughout my life, but this one, this is the epitome of them all. This is huge.”

On the football field, Weber has been a key special teams contributor each of the last three seasons. He’s made 12 career special teams tackles in his last 33 games, including a career-best two stops against both Iowa State and Oklahoma State in 2014. Majoring in accounting, Weber is also a two-time First Team Academic All-Big 12 performer.

“Stanton is a wonderful young man,” said head coach Bill Snyder. “He has his value system in place, he’s worked his way into our program, and he’s earned a scholarship in our program.  He’s earned playing time and the respect of his teammates enough to vote him as a captain. He captains our special teams units and works diligently to become the best he can be.”

A walk-on turned scholarship player turned team captain, Weber worked hard for this new title. He knows what it takes to be a leader and is more than ready to do whatever it takes to lead this year’s team to another successful season.

“I want to contribute any way I can; I want to win,” said Weber about his goals for the upcoming season. “If we don’t win, it’ll tax on me for the rest of my life because this season is on me; it’s on us as captains.

“I want this team to be successful; it’s my responsibility as a captain, and it’s my goal. If I don’t play a snap at receiver and we win a bunch of games, I’ll be the happiest guy in the world. But if I can do both (play receiver and special teams), it’d be a real accomplishment.”
 
K-State begins its 2015 slate on Saturday, September 5, at 6:10 p.m., as the Wildcats host South Dakota at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The remaining six home games feature five opponents that advanced to bowl games in 2014, including a pair of top-10 teams in TCU (No. 3/3) and Baylor (No. 7/8).

A limited number of single-game tickets are still available for the 2015 season. Fans can purchase tickets online by visiting www.k-statesports.com/tickets or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-221-CATS.

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 Kelly McHugh or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.