El Dorado’s Jaydon Sundgren makes name for self on and off the field

By Joanna Chadwick

El Dorado senior Jaydon Sundgren is one of those players who coaches rave about.

And rightfully so.

He’s a 4.0 student. An all-league performer in football, basketball and baseball.

“To put it simply, he is the epitome of team captain,” coach Wes Bell said. “He is one of our hardest workers on and off the field, he is the first to take blame for mistakes, he is the first to sign up for any community service activity we do, and he is a relentless competitor for us.”

Sundgren has a fire within.

“I’m one of the hardest working people you’ll meet when it comes to sports,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of things quietly for a long time. Hopefully the hard work will pay off and people will see.”

Asked what college coaches would see in him, he noted that he’s self-motivated, a leader and he works to motivate others.

Sundgren, who is 5-foot-10, 197 pounds,  moved to running back as a junior after focusing on defense as a freshman and sophomore. He will play both ways.

“I last played running back in middle school, and I picked it up like I never left off,” he said. “It feels natural to carry the ball.

“… I’m pretty quick. I can definitely make people miss in the open field, and I have a lot of power for my size. I’m a pretty versatile back.”

The offense has skill players in quarterback Gannon White, Drew Veatch, Jalen Rice, as well as lineman Gavin Bell, who is 6-foot-4, 275 pounds and has drawn a lot of attention.

Sundgren’s leadership showed this summer during a team offseason lifting program. He worked to get his teammates to show up and show out in the weight room.

“I wouldn’t say I’m the most in-your-face kind of guy, but I’ll come talk to you, motivate you, pat you on the back and get you ready for the next play,” he said.

Sundgren’s goals this season are about continuing El Dorado’s success on the field.

“We have had a couple of good classes in a row, and we have played together for a long time, and now’s our time to shine.

“We had one of our most successful seasons, winning our first playoff game. We were three points away from winning another one. It’s exciting — football is starting to be the talk of the town again.

“We’ve worked really hard with our new coach. He has done a really good job of making everyone buy into the weight room and football. That’s been fun.”

The goal for every team is getting to the state championship game. Sundgren thinks that’s possible.

“We have the players to do it,” he said. “We have to be accountable and stay focused.”