Newtown boy is SportsKid of Year

Newtown boy is SportsKid of Year

Published Dec. 14, 2013 12:00 a.m. ET

Jack Wellman is the 2013 SportsKid of the Year, and the 14-year-old didn't even play a sport this past season.

He was injured, having hurt his back in football, and unable to play or wrestle. So Wellman spent last fall helping train young kids at the local youth wrestling association.

In Newtown, Conn.

Then tragedy hit Sandy Hook, where the wrestling program trained. And one of the children killed, Jack Pinto, was a wrestler Wellman worked with.


"It was such a weird feeling to walk into the family room and see my dad sobbing," Wellman told "I had never seen my dad cry before."

Wellman threw himself back into training the kids and in January, Newtown tied for first at the Western Connecticut Elementary School Wrestling League championships, the program's best finish ever.

In addition, he raised funds for the victims and helped out around the community.

"We all go through hard times in our lives and there's no way of getting around that," Wellman said. "But you can choose how you respond to it. For me, it was always finding a way to give back."