Connect with us


Hutto Reloads 2019

Photo: Rick Garanflo

Hutto Reloads 2019

Despite losing key players, this year’s team shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Last season, the Hutto Hippos stomped its District 5A-11 competition, many times outright embarrassing their opponents and taking no mercy whatsoever. The team beat Pflugerville Connally 78-14, Cedar Park 65-21, Pflugerville 59-13, Manor 65-35, Rouse 40-0 and McCallum 58-7. Thanks to two powerhouse players and Division I commits, quarterback Chase Griffin (UCLA) and running back Chux Nwabuko III (Texas Tech), the team continued its prowess well into the playoffs but found its match in Foster, who beat Hutto 41-31 in the third round of the state championship semi-finals. “I think everybody knows that the target is on our backs,” Hutto head coach Brad LaPlante said. “I think that’s a big challenge for our kids to repeat as district champions. Yet I know they’ve worked hard to get that opportunity to repeat.” He said his players have a winning mentality, and they care about each other and give their best to their teammates and their coaches. “And that’s a great place to be.”

The 2018 season was the fifth consecutive year Hutto made the playoffs when the team had an 11-1 (6-0) record; so that team isn’t a one-year wonder. Coach LaPlante said that’s because he and his staff are building a program, not just a team from season to season. Sure, last year’s team lost a lot of experience and talent, but he said this year’s team also has a lot of talent and experience returning. This includes a hard-running offense lead by senior tailback Mekhi Kimble, who runs the forty-yard dash in 4.4 seconds; just as speedy is senior slot receiver Dajon Harrison. Coach LaPlante believes senior outside receiver Trey Pinelli “is the best blocker in all of CenTex,” who LaPlante also anticipates will get more ball action this season.

Of course the big question mark is filling the quarterback position now that Chase Griffin graduated and off to UCLA. Hutto has two or three possible quarterbacks, with rising sophomore Grayson Doggett and senior Brock Bujnoch being the top two competing for the position. Key returners on defense are senior outside linebacker Landyn Watson, “a key to the defense’s success.” Senior noseguard Lordswill Uwa has some Division I interest, and junior defensive end Braylon Sugg “at times has the best hands and feet out of all them,” coach LaPlante said. Senior Logan Tipton is a three-year starter at left tackle, and Jayson Vogelpohl is a returning all-district linebacker. 

“We’re going to control our own destiny. We’re really good when we want to be. But we have to make that decision every day to be really good. I like the fact that we are in control. I think we have the pieces to the puzzle to make a run. We may just have to do it in a different way that we did last year.” Coach LaPlante said the returning players have to create a team identity, which will have to start on defense, an element of the team that he feels particularly confident about. Altogether, Hutto’s defense will have about eight returning starters on the line, at linebacker or in the backend as well. Naturally, Hutto’s offense will be forced to fill in big shoes left by Nwabuko and Griffin, who last year was named a Gatorade Player of the Year in quarterback for the state of Texas. Last year, Griffin had 4,051 passing yards, 51 passing touchdowns, 415 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. “You can’t replace them,” coach LaPlante said. “But you find a way to manage the players that you do have. Our offensive coaching staff has done a good job at that. I think everybody thinks we’re done. We had a lot of big-time seniors leave last year, but I think we’re going to sneak up on some people with our team’s speed and how well we play together.”

RSS The Texas Sports Monthly PODCAST

  • 2019 Season - Week 12
    Area Round of the 2019 Central Texas High School Playoffs as the tournaments continue. Lake Travis has a rematch against San Antonio Madison at Rattlers Stadium in San Marcos. Westlake would go on the Win the State Championship while Cavs would defeat Judson again in 3rd round at the Alamodome but would fall the following […]
  • 2019 Season - Week 11
    Steve and Russell breakdown the 2019 High School Playoffs in Central Texas on 104.9 Horn FM. Bi-District week where districts collide in this first round. McCallum and Westwood battled out....Giddings defeated Houston Kashmir 50-0. Georgetown at LBJ, Lake Travis at Smithson Valley, Vandegrift hosts Bridgeland at home led by Jax Mccauley in a close comeback […]
  • 2019 Season - Week 10
    Russell & Steve cover week 11 on our 10th show as teams get near the playoffs and districts begin to line up as teams edge each other out for the final playoff spots. Russell became a grandpa the night before this show. . . Vista Ridge beat Round Rock 41-38.
  • 2019 Season - Week 9
    Week 9 of The Friday Night Countdown on 104.9 Horn FM is your Pre-Game for Central Texas High School Football for 2019 Season! Thursday Night games we rained out and delayed. Weiss winning 14-7 over Eastview.

RSS Texas Sports