Har-Ber Football Runs In Wood Family’s Blood

SPRINGDALE (KFSM) - It's not uncommon to hear Hunter Wood's name on Friday nights.

"I think Hunter represents the DNA of what Har-Ber football truly is," head coach Chris Wood explained.

Before Hunter racked up 2,021 receiving yards and accounted for 30 touchdowns as a Wildcat, he still lived and breathed Har-Ber football.

"When we started this thing off, I think Hunter was just coming up to our knees holding that Har-Ber football," Coach Wood remembered. "He grew up on our sideline as a ball boy. He's been in the bleachers when we were doing 7-on-7 as a little kid."

Chris Wood has been the one and only head man through Har-Ber's 14 seasons, and Hunter has been right behind him through every step - up until it was finally time to trade the name "dad" to the name "coach".

"He knew he had to work harder because the head coach was his dad," Coach Wood mentioned. "People would always throw darts and say he gets to play because he's Coach Wood's son, or they throw the football because he's Coach Wood's son, but he went out and made his own name."

Hunter remembers battling the reputation of being a coach's son since he first suited up as a Wildcat. "Sophomore year was probably the worst, just hearing everyone saying you're only playing because your dad is the coach. It makes you work harder."

The motivation to prove himself pushed Hunter to be a playmaker.

"It's just another chip on your shoulder that you have to take care of and show that I belong," he emphasized. "I belong out here and I belong with the top dogs. I'm here to make a name for myself and not just because my dad's the coach."

"He did it all himself. It doesn't matter who the head coach was or who was calling plays, Hunter was going to be very productive because he had the DNA of a Har-Ber guy," Coach Wood added.

That mentality has lead to a breakout senior year - racking up 944 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.

"His senior year, he's just taken it to that next level," Coach Wood explained. "I think he's still got a growth to do, going to the next level college-wise."

Wherever his career takes him, Hunter looks forward to finishing this chapter with the guy who means the most in his life.

"I'd say my dad's my best friend," he said with a smile. "It's just like playing with any of your best friends honestly. For it to come to an end here pretty soon, it's a sad thing to think about, but it's been a blessing and I love him for that."

Coach Wood, Hunter, and company will look to continue their dreams to a state title on Friday night. Kickoff at North Little Rock is scheduled for 7:00 PM.

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