Chris Wein: Faith and Football
"Believe in each other!" That is the saying of Interim Head Football Coach Kelly Ledwith. Coach Ledwith tell his Corsairs football team this before every single game. This is an old saying not only meant to help out football players, but this could be why one player in particular is having such a superlative season.
Meet Chris Wein, a sophomore student at Santa Monica College, and middle linebacker, is having his best season yet. After sitting out last year due to an injury, he is now averaging an eye-opening 15-tackles per game and has 76-tackles overall. Wein leads his team and the state of California in tackles this season. When asked about his spectacular play this season, Wein said, "I've made a big priority to put God above all things in my life, and my father and mother who instilled me with a work ethic from the time I was young."
A native from Oklahoma, and a high school student from Tennessee, Wein shares how he became fascinated with football. "Growing up I would throw the football around with my six brothers and my sister, so that's where my love of football began." When asked what brought him to SMC, Wein said, "after high school, I took a year off figuring out where I wanted to go. I was on Google looking at different routes that I could take. I knew I wanted to keep playing football. I stumbled across Santa Monica ... and I fell in love with California, and I moved from Tennessee a month later."
In his first year at SMC, Wein was apart of the Corsairs' 2015 Football team ran by former head coach Gifford Lindheim, who now coaches at El Camino College. The Lindheim-led team went undefeated and played in the Conference Championship in 2015. When asked about what it was like under Lindheim, Wein said, "all of the coaches were really great coaches, and I was very fortunate to be on that team. It was really fun playing for them."
Coach Ledwith described the work ethic of Wein as an athlete. "He puts in as much work as anybody that I've been around," said Ledwith. "He does all those things that successful players do, but what separates him from a lot of guys, he goes full speed the whole time just fanatic effort all the way through." Wein's teammate Tyler Ricchiuto, a strong safety for the Corsairs, describes his role as an ultimate team player and a leader. "He's characteristic, and an exciting guy to be around with, and on the field he's explosive, and exciting to watch. Chris is like probably the best athlete I've ever played with." Another one of his teammates who was also one of the few players who was coached under Lindheim, Devin Cox, an outside linebacker, shared his experiences playing with Wein. "[He is] a hard worker and very dedicated, very humble at that," said Cox. "Real down to earth. If you need anything he has you, be it on and off the field."
Wein said that after SMC, he plans to follow his dreams. He is aiming for a shot at the NFL, a dream he had since he has been a young child. "I feel like the turning point in my life with football and everything for me, was the ability to start a relationship with God, and I just maybe want to motivate anybody that's looking for something more in this world, with God all things are possible."