George Wright

George Wright of Ellensburg High School poses for a photo in his Bulldog football uniform.

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When the Seattle Seahawks reached out to high school football coaches around the state, seeking contestants in “We’ve Got Spirit,” recognizing players, coaches and teams, immediately one came to mind for Ellensburg High School coach Jeff Zenisek.

Junior wide receiver George Wright.

“I thought, ‘Oh, man, the perfect one is George,” Zenisek said.

The Seahawks want to celebrate youth and high school football with the challenges they’ve faced this season during the coronavirus pandemic while football in Washington state remains shuttered.

“As youth and high school football teams tackle the challenges of this season, we recognize coaches, players, and teams that have gone above and beyond to keep the football spirit alive in our community,” the Seahawks tweeted on Tuesday.

And seeing what Wright had done over the past summer and during fall and winter practice, the Seahawks, on Tuesday, nominated Wright along with Tavish McArthur of Woodinville — the only two players selected.

“George is a wide receiver on the Ellensburg High School Air Force team and has gone above and beyond to lead his team and youth teams in his community in safe on-field practices,” it reads on the Seahawks website. “He has volunteered his time over the past five months leading and organizing social distanced football to ensure the teams in his community are staying safe and protected. As an ASB leader, George has also been an advocate in his school and community promoting safe pandemic practices on and off the field.”

During the summer in the non-coachable period, Wright volunteered his time and recruited kids from the football team, organizing practices every other day.

“I’ve been talking with a bunch of the guys and we just wanted to play football,” Wright said.

“There was a group of 12-20 players every other day out there and just going through what we taught last year, all our drills and our plays and did it on his own,” Zenisek said. “… He did it all summer long, getting the kids together.”

Zenisek has seen his leadership evolve. Wright assists in any way he can, whether it’s helping the underclassmen go through drills or fill in at another position if there are not enough kids for a certain position group (Bulldogs split practice days for different positions).

“He’s all about family, helping out his community and all that,” Zenisek said. “He’s perfect in that aspect. No better person to nominate than him.”

Wright said his dream would be to play college football, but if not, he wants to “get into a trade, hopefully.”

His plans to achieve that?

“Honestly, just getting bigger,” Wright said. “… I’m just trying to gain more weight and gain more muscle and I work with the quarterbacks most of the time, but usually running backs and wide receivers, too. Just working on routes and cuts — just trying to dial in.

Luke Olson:; on Twitter: @lukeolsonb

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