Whether he’s throwing strikes or spirals, David Wells is an athlete who relies heavily on his arm for success on the playing fields.
A 2017 Shelton High graduate, Wells plays football and baseball at Springfield College. While a two-sport athlete is not all that unusual at the high school level, most student-athletes turn their attention to one sport at the university level.
“I don’t know how he does it with two sports. One is enough with the expectations they have,” said Tom Murphy, who coaches Wells on Shelton’s Post 16 American Legion summer baseball team.
Wells was on an eighth grade state champion football team, but his success did not stop there as he earned All Southern Connecticut Conference accolades in both sports while at Shelton High.
“It helps him with his time management,” Murphy said of Wells playing both sports in college.
Wells played a variety of positions and pitches in Legion ball, and is an infielder at Springfield.
During the summer season he juggles Legion baseball, football workouts and a job.
“He just loves doing it. He likes being busy all the time. It’s a lot of work but he loves it,” said his father, Dave Wells. “I’m proud of him. He’s a hard worker.”
His father also commended Murphy for doing his part.
“David will play anywhere you ask him to play. He’s so coachable,” Murphy said. “We lean on him for a lot.”
Wells, in 13 games with Springfield this past spring, batted .381.
The most challenging aspect of playing both sports for Wells comes in the spring and fall, when there is overlap with the regular seasons and offseason training for each.
“It’s good to be back and play ball with them. I have a lot of fun,” Wells said. “I’ve played with most of these kids my whole life. In college ball, you’ve got more kids that hit a bit harder, more kids that throw farther, and they can locate pitches a little bit better. The overall game is just a little bit faster.
“In football, you’ve got faster kids, more athletic kids, kids who can tackle a little bit better.”
Murphy has known Wells off the field for about a decade. His son Ryan grew up with him and they played sports together throughout the years. Murphy has not only seen Wells develop on the playing fields, but he’s seen him mature off the fields.
“I can call him knucklehead with fondness and get away with it because he knows where it comes from,” Murphy said. “He leads mainly by example. The young kids look up to him, because they know he’s really good. He’s very humble.”
Most of the Legion players still play at the high school level.
“David’s a college player who just comes in and throws absolute heat, overpowers guys. He throws wicked curves that just drop off the table. He’s a real asset for us,” said Legion catcher T.J. O’Sullivan.