HUTTO, Texas - When the high school football season kicks off later this month, the Hutto Hippos will likely go as far as Texas Tech-bound senior quarterback Will Hammond will take them.
Hammond brings a ton of experience to the table.
"I guess it was three years ago this time when I was just a little freshman," Hammond said, reflecting on his first varsity start.
"I think it gives you a greater perspective of just experience of how long I've been playing varsity football, he said. "So it's really reassuring to kind of feel like yeah I've done this time and time again. And I can go do it again."
Last season, Hammond threw for over 2700 yards, 30 touchdown, and only five interceptions while racking up 700 more on the ground, with nine scores
"I think he's the best in the nation personally," senior receiver Alex Green said. "I think he proved that at the Elite 11. So, yes I do think he's the best in the nation."
"I don't feel a ton of pressure necessarily. I think the goal is just to have more of those great moments," said Hammond. "Have a higher percentage of those. Rather than the low moments."
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One of those low moments for the Hippos last season came when they missed out on the playoffs, something Hammond doesn't plan on doing this year before he heads off to play at Texas Tech.
"That's been a driving force all offseason. We want to be further than we were last year," Hammond said. "So we need to put more work in now. And I feel like we put that work in. It's time to just let it pay off on the football field."
"We want to make sure that we're not playing for nothing when we come out this year," said head football coach Will Compton. "We have every intention of competing for a district championship. And the kids are all in on that."
"I think it's great having great experience. Since he was on varsity as a freshman. So, I think it definitely pays off," Compton added.
"Just come out here and do my job. Obviously I want to throw for plenty of yards to my guys," Hammon said. "Make sure they get a ton of reception yards. Help them get noticed by other schools. But really just kind of do my job to help the team win."
Hammond was picked as Dave Campbell's Texas football District 12-6A pre-season offensive player of the year and was named one of the Top 10 quarterback prospects in the 2024 cycle.