EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 31, 2013

He's number one

Whittier Tech's Bradley excels in the field and on the classroom

Hector Longo

---- — HAVERHILL — It would be hard to quibble with Connor Bradley’s first two seasons at Whittier Tech.

He enters his junior year ranked the number one student in his class, he helped the Cats to the Division 3 North baseball title last spring, and he quarterbacked the football team to a 7-4 season last fall.

What does he have planned for an encore?

“I can tell you, like a lot of guys, he’s bigger, faster and stronger,” said his father and coach, Kevin Bradley. “He’s also very smart, so we’re able to give him an awful lot on offense.”

Connor and the Cats are expecting big things this fall, returning 12 starters, including a handful of explosive weapons. Taking charge of the offense last year, Bradley answered every challenge by throwing for 1,259 yards with 16 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions.

There was no way Bradley was about to rest on those numbers.

“Most things you have to work for, it’s not just given to you. In the off-season you have to work out. There’s always room for improvement, and for me it was speed, becoming faster, but also mentally being able to see things more, making quicker decisions,” said the young quarterback.

“As we grow older, you tend to mature and you see not only how important those off-season workouts are. They make you grow mentally, too.”

Aside from competing on the field, Bradley knows he is in a battle competing for the number one ranking in his class, especially with teammate Billy Yameen, who is ranked number two in the junior class.

“With Billy, it’s a good competitiveness, but we’re good friends, we’re in the same classes together, we talk, we stay friends, and that friendship is important,” said Bradley, “Grades are most important, you can only go so far with sports, having good grades will be good to get into college.”

Still, all eyes will be on Bradley and the Cats this fall as they look for a league title and more.

“My goal is to help the team win and improve, mostly run a good offense and see what the team can do. We’re expecting big things, we’re ahead of the game from where we were last year, offensively and defensively, kids are aware of our mission and our focus for this year.”