Huard threw for over 350 yards and a touchdown to lead Kennedy Catholic to a victory over Seattle Prep in his first game. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound lefty has continued that fast start with 2,051 yards and 20 touchdowns through the Lancers’ first six games of the season.
It won’t surprise anyone that Sam Huard grew up around the game of football.
So when the first high-school start of his career took place at Husky Stadium, where his father Damon Huard shined for the University of Washington in the mid-1990s, Sam Huard quickly shook off the nerves and did what his father accomplished many times for the Huskies.
Lead his team to a win.
“It was fun, especially playing at U-Dub,” Sam Huard said. “It’s a place I know pretty well. It was good playing with my other fellow freshmen and getting our first game out of the way. Thankfully we got a good win for our program.”
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Huard threw for over 350 yards and a touchdown to lead Kennedy Catholic to a 30-20 victory over Seattle Prep. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound lefty has continued that fast start with 2,051 yards and 20 touchdowns through the Lancers’ first six games of the season.
“You think back to his dad, his uncles and his grandpa and they were all very successful,” said Sheldon Cross, Kennedy Catholic’s second-year coach. “The makeup there is very similar. Their want to work hard and desire to be good at what they’re doing is there. He has definitely picked up right where they left off.”
Damon Huard threw for 2,275 yards his senior year at Puyallup. Sam Huard could top that as soon as this week’s game against NPSL Cascade Division-leading Tahoma.
“They put it up in the air,” the elder Huard said. “ … It’s fun to watch. It’s a neat little system down there. One that, certainly, I wish I was playing in when I was in high school.”
Sam Huard comes from a long line of football players, including his father, uncles Brock and Luke – who both shined on the gridiron in high school and college – and his grandfather, longtime coach Mike Huard. Having that last name might lead to some distractions, especially for a young football player who’s off to a blistering start. But Cross is adamant that’s not the case with Sam, who is one of several freshman being called on to be immediate impact players for Kennedy Catholic (4-2, 2-2).
“He’s ready for these moments,” Cross said. “He’s ready to lead us into these games. When you watch us, you think that he’s older just the way that he plays. I’ve got to tell myself that too: he’s just a freshman. He’s only played six varsity football games ever.”
It doesn’t hurt that Huard lives with someone who has been there before. Damon Huard was the Powerade State Player of the Year in 1990 and went on to play for the Huskies and win two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots.
“Getting advice and coaching from my dad has been a big part of where I am right now,” Sam Huard said. “Growing up, I was always wanting to do what he did and hoping I could get there someday.”
Damon Huard is happy to help his son dissect a performance, but he enjoys more of a hands-off role and to watch his son from the stands.
“He really doesn’t need me,” Damon Huard said. “ … My role as dad is just to love him up, support him and, really, back off. That’s kind of what I told him: ‘When you get to high school bud, it’s all about you. Certainly, if you want to pick my brain about a coverage or a play or something, great, but you’ve got to go out there and do this yourself and learn from failures and learn from success and just play the great game that you love.’”
Sam Huard hopes to play that game for quite awhile. And, even though he’s only in his first year of high school, Cross believes his quarterback has the chance to be a very special player.
“I cannot tell you how scary he’s going to be,” Cross said. “I think he has the capability to be one of the best quarterbacks to ever come out of Washington. I think he’s special and he’s only getting better. There’s certainly a long way to go, but I think he’s enjoying that process.”