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Football is not a sport that has been around College Park senior offensive lineman Colton Bonnington’s life forever.
He always wanted to play the sport, but the opportunities were not there right away. Instead, he waited his turn until high school rolled around – a time period when he immediately made his presence known.
“I’ve always loved football,” Bonnington said. “I always got questions from people because I was always so big when I was little. ‘Hey, is that kid in football?’ And I’d be like, ‘My mom won’t let me, but I want to be.’ So I really wanted to play football from a young age.”
That relationship with his mother has been one that has always motivated him, and it has driven him to new heights throughout the course of his short – and highly decorated – football career thus far at the high school level.
Right away, the College Park coaching staff noticed he was different. During his sophomore season, when he helped pave the way for an offense that scored 40-plus points six times while winning five games that season in 2018, Bonnington was a dominant force and earned his way to first team all-league honors.
Not only did his coaches know that he was a special talent, there was something else that stood out – one that highlighted that his football career could extend beyond just his time as a high school student at College Park.
“My sophomore year at our end of season party,” Bonnington said. “My coach came up to me and said, ‘Hey, you have talent. I think you can play at the next level if you want to.’ So from that point on I started working really hard to get to that point.”
Bonnington has made the most of those words.
He only built on that success a year later, garnering a second consecutive first team all-league honor in College Park’s run to a 7-3 overall record and a 5-1 mark in Diablo Valley Athletic League play – only one game back of Benicia for the No. 1 spot in the standings.
Since then, Bonnington’s profile has boosted even more during a tremendous offseason filled with growth.
At the National Preps Collegiate Showcase last month, Bonnington said he has gained 15 pounds and also dropped six-tenths of a second with his 40-yard dash time.
Colleges across different levels have expressed their interest in the College Park standout, and he also also has an opportunity to play junior college football at Oakland’s Laney College, which won a state championship in 2018 and was recently featured on Netflix’s Last Chance U.
“I’m talking to a couple colleges, a couple D3 colleges,” Bonnington said. “My coach says that there might be one D1 school interested in me, but other than that not really anything has come up. And if nothing does come up, I’ve talked to Laney College in Oakland. They said that they’d take me.”
Now Bonnington is focused on expanding his resume further. He wants two straight first team all-league selections to become three straight. He wants an all-state nod.
And he wants to do whatever he can for his mother, whose hours driving him to different showcases from the Bay Area to Fresno to Las Vegas motivate him every single day to continue climbing up the ladder.
“I can’t ask for anything more from my mom,” Bonnington said. “She’s so amazing.”
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