By BRIDGETTE NORRIS
As Bradley Hutsell notices he is next in line, he stands up and catches the football jersey being tossed at him from the coach. He smiles noticing the number he randomly receives. Fourteen was also his father’s jersey number from high school. This was his junior year and he has used the number for football and track ever since.
Hutsell has grown up with football surrounding his family. He is the son of Mark Hutsell, former football player at Boone and East Tennessee State University, and Cynthia Hutsell, current cheerleading coach; brother of Cailtin, former Boone cheerleader, Samuel and Joel, former Boone football players; and grandson of retired sports writer, Larry McCarthy.
“I have supported them 100 percent. It has been so important since they were young. Each and every family member has supported one another, whether it is buying cleats or going to camps or giving rides to practices and games. It has been a complete family effort,” C. Hutsell said.
All three of the Hutsell brothers played their freshman year with undefeated seasons. Not to mention, Joel’s senior year the team went 6-4. The team won three playoff games, making it to the semi-finals where they lost 31-34 to Lake Brantley. This was the first time in history the school advanced to state championship semi-finals.
Breaking records didn’t stop for the brothers because the next year Samuel was moved up to play varsity quarterback and led the team to metro, district and regional championship games. For the first time in history, the school earned the title of state runner-ups.
“Playing is like an unspoken rule [in my family]. We all played football and think of it as the most important and best time of high school. Almost every family member has gone on to play football. I have never felt I had to be better than my brothers though. I just want to live up to my mark and win,” B. Hutsell said.
This is B. Hutsell’s last year as well as the last generation of his family playing for the school. With help from his brothers, there has been a Hutsell playing on the team for the past decade.
“There is an intense emotion getting to watch the boys play at the game when they have practiced all week for it. There is a special bond in getting to watch my sons play every Friday night for a straight 10 years. As a cheer coach, in some ways, I have the best seat in the house. I love being able to be on the field and hug them after a win or even a big loss. Those are big memories,” C. Hutsell said.
Although C. Hutsell will not have a son to cheer for on Friday nights anymore, she will continue to have other opportunities to support and root her sons on. Starting next year, B. Hutsell will play football with his brother Samuel alongside him at the University of Nebraska Kearney. B. Hutsell earned a partial scholarship to the University.
“I would not say that my family is the main reason I play but they have helped me with it and made me love it even more than I already did. I definitely look up to them, that is for sure,” B. Hutsell said.