WEST PORTSMOUTH — West senior Hunter Brown’s speed helped him excel on the high school gridiron, and will continue to benefit him at the next level.
At a recent signing ceremony held inside the Portsmouth West High School gymnasium, Brown became the third member of the Senators’ 2020-21 senior class to sign to play college football — making it official he would be taking his talents to Marietta College, where he’ll join the Pioneer program.
Brown said doing so was “an honor” — after a season which saw the Senators finish a 10-game schedule with a 6-4 record.
“It’s an honor, sign here at Portsmouth West and to go to Marietta. We went on a visit up there, the coaching staff is amazing,” he said. “They really focus on developing the players, and making them better men and people. I feel like it was a great fit for me because I want to succeed in life, and it felt like the right place for me.”
During his four seasons at West, the Senators compiled a 24-19 record — and qualified for the OHSAA state playoffs three times.
Brown played in eight games during his senior year, rushing for 482 yards on 110 carries for a 4.4 yards per carry average.
He scored seven offensive touchdowns combined in his junior and senior seasons from his running back position — five on the ground and two through the air.
“My time here was special, ever since my freshman year. This past year was special because that was the hardest-working group I’ve been a part off,” Brown said, of playing at West. “We’d go and work out every single day, sometimes twice a day. The relationships I’ve built with my teammates and coaches — they’re memories that will last a lifetime.”
Although there were some doubts prior to the 2020 season as to how much of a season area high schools might play amid possible shutdowns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, West was able to play a full 10-game season — and avoid any shutdowns once games began in late August.
Brown said once he and his Senator teammates got the all-clear from Governor Mike DeWine’s office, they continued working and following protocols whereas to avoid any mishaps during the season.
Their work paid off, and West managed a full season at “The Rock”.
“Before the season started, we were trying to follow all the rules and we didn’t know if we’d have a season at first,” Brown said. “I think it was sometime in August that Governor DeWine said we were going to have a season — we just put our heads down and went to work.”
Brown caught 15 passes for 125 yards during his final two seasons as a Senator, as was told by his future Marietta coaches that it’s possible he gets reps as a slot receiver in the Pioneers’ offense.
Brown also qualified and participated in the 2018 Division II Southeast District track meet held at Washington Court House, showcasing his speed in the 4x100m and 4x200m relays — alongside teammates Ben Dubiel, Rhett Estep and Ryan Spriggs.
“They (Marietta coaches) like the speed I play with, the hustle,” Brown said. “We talked at the visit I went on that I may play some slot (receiver), some running back — probably play both.”
Joined by his parents Polly and Henry, and friends and family members, Brown said he was thankful for the years of support each had given him along his journey.
“It means a lot. They’ve been my number-one supporters since I was little. It means everything to have them and all my friends here — it shows that they care and it’s appreciated,” he said.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved