Hunt, FC Bulldogs enjoy first victory

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 4, 2000

MEADVILLE – Linebacker James Hunt and his Franklin Countyteammates were a win-starved football team until last Fridaynight.

MEADVILLE – Linebacker James Hunt and his Franklin Countyteammates were a win-starved football team until last Friday night.The Bulldogs had suffered four straight setbacks before finallybeating North Pike 27-3 at Summit.

Hunt had a big hand in the victory. He contributed 11 tacklesand intercepted a pass, returning it 23 yards for a touchdown. Forhis accomplishments, Hunt has been selected The Daily Leader’sDefensive Player of the week for the sixth week of the 2000season.

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Hunt, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior, plays middle linebacker.He recalled the interception.

“I was back in my zone,” said Hunt. “I saw a back come outof the backfield. The quarterback had rolled out of the pocket andhe had looked in on that back.

“The whole game I had been saying our defense needed toscore a touchdown,” Hunt continued. “I got the interception andtook it in.”

According to Hunt, fellow students had been questioning theability of the football team. The Bulldogs had lost three of theirgames by eight points or less. “It made for some real horribleweekends.”

There was no shortage of confidence as the Bulldogs made theshort bus ride to Summit for a Division 6-3A test versus NorthPike. Hunt said, “Me and Wesley Hickingbottom and Michael Smithknew we had the game. We had never lost to North Pike. We wanted toshow the school what we were capable of.”

Franklin County head coach Michael Goff said Hunt is a2-year starter at middle linebacker and he wants to improve. “Jamesis a quiet kid and he works hard. He has learned the position andhe is getting better every week. He reads well and reacts to theball well. He runs pretty good for a big guy.”

Hunt bench presses 235 pounds and squats with 310. He runs a4.8 in the 40-yard dash. He considered playing basketball laterthis year and following his older brother, graduated senior TreHunt; but he plans to concentrate on football.

“I want to get back in the weight room and get stronger fornext year,” said Hunt. “Football players are made in the weightroom. That’s where the team is made.”

Hunt has been playing football since the seventh grade. Heplayed defensive end until assistant coach Tony Gibbs shifted himto linebacker. “Coach Gibbs said I had potential.”

Asked about his position, Hunt said, “My main responsibilityis to key on the fullback. If the fullback doesn’t have the ball, Ihelp out wherever else I can. I like to make big plays and hitsomebody.”

Hunt said the defensive line does a good job in thetrenches. “A lot of times they’ll fill the hole and make the tacklebefore I do.”

Among the players working in the defensive trench are JahardFaust, Taylor McMinn, Josh O’Neal, Brandon Touchstone, BrandonHalford and Hardy Fox.

The Bulldogs have five division games left and JeffersonCounty visits Meadville Friday night. Hunt believes the Bulldogscan win the division title and advance to the stateplayoffs.

“We have to work hard and take it one game at a time,” saidHunt. “We have to keep our mistakes at a minimum.”

No slouch in the classroom, Hunt makes A’s and B’s. Hisfavorite subject is math.

He likes Mississippi State and Florida in college football.In the NFL, he pulls for the Tennessee Titans.