Tonawanda News — It’s tough to miss Connor Pumm. The senior — who plays basketball for Tonawanda in the winter and football during the fall — stands at 6-foot-5.
In a game this past season on the gridiron, Pumm, who lines up at tight end, caught a pass from hoops teammate and quarterback Tristan Boling at about the 20-yard line, and then ran it in for the touchdown. That was after he was hit by a pair of defenders at the 5-yard line and took the pair with him past the goal line, both unable to bring the athletic, physical Pumm down.
But as dominant as he’s been on the football field the past two seasons for the Warriors, Pumm stood in the shadow of Clayton Hess on the hard court last season as a junior.
Hess had a terrific career at Tonawanda, scoring more than 1,000 points before graduating last Spring. But without him this season the Warriors were forced to find a new identity and it all starts with teamwork.
“I haven’t really filled Clayton’s shoes because I don’t think it can be done,” Pumm said. “But I think we all just changed a little bit. The offense doesn’t really flow through any one person, and I think that’s actually a good thing for us. We just have a bunch of players that have come together.”
Pumm has emerged as a go-to player on the perimeter and in the post for Tonawanda (9-6, 6-3 ECIC IV). Along with co-captain Ben Stich and Boling, the Warriors have developed into a team with a bunch of unselfish players that fill their roles.
Warriors coach Hank Hughes, who said his team has had its ups and downs this year, said the Warriors have started to come together since Christmas break. Players understand their roles and are executing on both ends.