A bead of sweat trickles down his cheek. Mud smears his jersey. Adrenaline rushes through his veins. Huge lights beam down as beacons in this dark, open Kentucky field. He hears the sound of cleats digging into muddy grass as his team shifts into position.
"THREE-NINE! THREE-NINE! HUT!" Hunter Comer yells loudly from deep in his throat. The leather ball hits his hand, and the sound of boys turning to men, colliding into each other, echoes through the half-empty stadium. This is Friday night. This is what he lives for.
"As quarterback, I do half the work with all of the glory, but I don't like losing," Hunter says. "If I lose, we're doing it again until I win." He says he hates practice, doing something he knows how to do over and over.
Hunter is the starting quarterback and a captain for the Henderson County High School varsity football team. He has played football since the third grade and says he is used to having to balance school and practice. However, once he got his driver's license, his balancing act included delivering for Firedome Pizza three nights a week.
Walking down the main hall of school, a voice behind him yells out, "Oh look! It's Hunter, the most popular kid in school!" That voice belongs to Henry Fowler, a sophomore linebacker on Hunter's team.
Hunter laughed and said, "They are clowns. The whole team is like a big group of brothers – family really — and my linemen are like my personal bodyguards."
"Hunter is the all-American quarterback," says James Wilson, a longtime Comer family friend. "He's just a great kid."
"I grew up hearing about my dad as quarterback, and I wanted to be just like him. Some of this really is for him."
Hunter hopes to get a college scholarship to play football.