What has been a long, and largely successful, journey is quickly drawing to a close for Lexington High quarterback Will Hunter.
With four weeks remaining in the regular season, the senior passer crossed the 9,000-yard career passing mark this past week. He has 9,021 yards. Averaging 224 yards per game, Hunter is almost certain to cross the 10,000 yard threshold before the end of the season.
Even as a freshman, Hunter churned out completed passes, but he did not focus on the statistics.
“I never really thought about what I’ve done or being a top performer in the state,” Hunter said. Though he posted 18 touchdowns and 2,123 yards in his first season, Hunter said that freshman year was important for other reasons.
“My first two years, it was a completely different football than I’d ever been a part of,” he said. “Freshman year showed me what football really was. Coach (Scott) Earley really taught me that football is a brotherhood.”
Amassing 608 completions and 85 touchdowns in 1,000 passing attempts over four seasons has been a byproduct of that familial relationship, Hunter said.
First-year coach Josh Stepp said watching Hunter work with receivers Keelo Norris, Ryan Brown, Brentle Allen and Jayson Hopper is a joy.
“What a great group of kids that is,” he said. “They have an absolute blast when they get on the field. And it’s tremendous to see them work with Will. You can tell that he trusts them and they are having so much fun.”
Hunter said he has been working on becoming a stronger leader, and his coach said he is at the core of a strong group of seniors who are leading the Wildcats through this 6-1 season.
“He’s what makes us go,” Stepp said. “He’s a tremendous talent, he can make any throw you want him to make. He understands football and he knows when to get out of the pocket and make a play, and you can’t teach that.”
“But the best attribute of Will’s is that he is the biggest competitor I’ve ever known. He just wants to win. He doesn’t care whether he throws for 50 yards or 400 yards, he just wants us to win.”
Hunter, a self-proclaimed sports fanatic and year-round athlete, said beyond pursuing a state title, his only goal is to continue competing. For now, Hunter has no college scholarship offers for football.
“His recruiting has been kind of crazy. We’ve had lots of teams come and look at him, but he hasn’t gotten any offers yet,” Stepp said. “I just told him to have the best senior year he can, and the recruiting will take care of itself.
“He will have a place to play on Saturdays next year, I know that,” Stepp said.