As I mentioned last week, I wanted to introduce readers to a few of the main characters from Forgetting My Way Back to You, my upcoming novel. In keeping with one of the story’s elements, these posts are portrayed as news articles in the Coatesville Times, the setting’s actual local paper. Next up is Hunter Jett.
August 21, 2013
Local Celebrity Returns Home and to his Alma Mater
By Terry Cinders
Over the years, the Times has chronicled Hunter Jett’s success in football, from the time he moved to Coatesville as an All-State quarterback in high school to his rise in the Arena Football League. At age 31, however, Jett’s playing days came to a close this past season when he suffered a torn meniscus for the third time.
“I didn’t know for sure if I could try to make a comeback until my physical last month. Our doctors said my prior injuries would make playing a real risk and that I wasn’t healing as fast as I did after my past surgeries.”
The development disappointed Jett, for sure, ending his eleven-year tenure with the Spokane Shock. However, he didn’t have to scour the job market for long upon his return home. Raiders’ Head Football Coach, Jay Wilson, retired in the spring, which left an opening in both the coaching and physical education departments. Interested in the positions, Jett pursued the needed credits to acquire his teaching credentials and landed the jobs. With Harvey Langdon’s promotion to head coach, Jett will be taking the duties of offensive coordinator.
“I’m excited to come back here and switch sides, from student to mentor. I’ve benefited from so many coaches, and I can only hope to impact these guys in a similar way.”
One of those coaches was Mike Stoll. Even though he won’t be able to work with him, he still looks to him for guidance in the new chapter.
“I just visited him today, and he gave me some tips. Earlier this afternoon, Charlee [Stoll’s daughter and the team’s current trainer] gave us his playbook. I have some serious reading ahead of me!”
While Jett enjoys being back in his old stomping grounds, he admits his career didn’t end like he would’ve hoped. He always hoped to receive another call from the NFL, after the Eagles drafted him in 2002 but never offered him a contract.
“That’s the ultimate dream, but it only happens for a few. I consider myself fortunate to have played the sport I loved for longer than most do and on a bigger platform.”
Looking ahead, Jett hopes for a playoff-bound season, but he realizes he needs to focus on more than football.
“There’s nothing like the game, but it’s fickle. Once you’re gone, you see how easily it moves on as it did before you. With that behind me, it’s time I give attention to the matters I’ve put aside for so long. The ones that don’t measure me by stats and physicals, but by who I really am.”
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