Shaun Wimberly exudes confidence, skill


Shaun Wimberly exudes confidence, skill

Have yourself a season there, Shaun Wimberly Jr. It sure was a memorable one, opening with a first-place finish in the NFA showcase Duel competition during the hot days of summer and wrapping up with an appearance in the chilly Juice Bowl in Louisville.

From start to finish, the sixth-grade quarterback was on top of his developing game. “It was a really good season,” Wimberly said. “When the season started, it was a little tough. But once I switched teams and we went into the playoffs, it was really great.”

After winning the Duel in Massillon, Ohio, Wimberly returned to Kentucky and started his season with the Shively Seminoles in the Louisville Youth Football League. Due to some outside issues beyond his control, the Wimberly left the Seminoles, hooked up with the Louisville Patriots and pressed on. ‘When I got to the Patriots, I felt a little more exited and I had a little more hope,” he said.

Wimberly joined the 13-1 Patriots and quarterbacked the team in two postseason Bowl Tournament games. In the first game, the Derby City Bowl, he was named MVP after leading his team back from a 19-point deficit at halftime with a pair of passing touchdowns in the second half.

“I think it was one of the best games I’ve ever played,” Wimberly said. “I think I was able to show my team I had the confidence in myself to bring the team back. I think people didn’t think we would be able to come back and win, but I just felt I could bring my team up.”

Wimberly is already showing he can pass and throw the football at effective levels. “I need to work on the shorter routes, just making sure I throw the ball with the right touch and not throw it too hard,” he said. “I think right now I’m better at throwing the ball better over the middle and deeper down the field. And when we weren’t in the spread offense and I was under center, I felt like I could run the ball really good.”

Duel winner

Even at such an early stage of his promising career, Wimberly has the confidence found in most top-flight QBs. Winning the Duel helped instill the belief in his own skills. “It really helped my confidence,” Wimberly said. “The other kids in my group at the Duel, they were good athletes and they had really good mechanics and they knew how to correct their mistakes. They were just good athletes. So when I beat them, I kind of knew if I could beat these athletes at the Duel that had such phenomenal talent, I could come back down to (Louisville) and do even better.”

Wimberly has been attending NFA camps the last three years. “They’ve really helped me become better at quarterback,” he said. “A lot better.”


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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University