Chat it up with Mt. Douglas’ Hunter Swift — selected as one of Varsity Letter’s two B.C. High School Football Players of the Week — and you almost forget that the Rams’ quarterback, at age 17, is still just two months into his senior year of high school.
As him about his performance in last week in his No. 3-ranked team’s 44-12 win over the host New Westminster Hyacks in a key AAA Western Conference clash at Mercer Stadium, one in which he not only passed for 272 yards and two touchdowns, but also rushed for 73 yards and two more scores, and to him what mattered most was the way his team had just finished responding after having had suffered consecutive losses to No. 1 Vancouver College and No. 2 Notre Dame the two previous weeks.
“I think it was essential in just moving forward but not forgetting those two games,” the 5-foot-11 185-pounder said of setbacks which were the team’s first two of the season. “We have to acknowledge that they happened, but we also need to know we can do better.
“So last Friday was really a comeback,” he said, measuring his words. “Going into this season, our Grade 11s (Grade 9s back in their last active season of 2019) had never lost a game. They went undefeated as JVs. So I think those were necessary losses. Losing never feels great, but I’d take them at that point, and sometimes it’s necessary.”
Combine those JV wins in 2019 with the senior varsity wins to start 2021 and that winning streak had reached 19 games.
Swift, of course, was the starting quarterback on that Subway Bowl B.C. championship JV team as a Grade 10, but he was also the starting quarterback on the Rams’ senior varsity team that same season, channeling the dual-efforts of some program’s greatest-ever players including the Brothers Davis (Terrell and Marcus) and Gideone Kremler.
Mt. Douglas head coach Mark Townsend, who has coached all of them, including Hunter’s older brother, running back/linebacker Mason Swift, loves both the generalship and the presence his starting quarterback brings.
“Hunter is just a tremendous leader for us,” said Townsend. “He brings that competitive spirit, and that brings out best in his teammates. He is also that true dual-threat quarterback who can not only throw the ball with great accuracy and tremendous arm-strength, but also use his legs quite effectively.”
Top-flight athletics run in the family,
Mason Swift left his mark on the Rams’ program when he graduated from the school in 2013 (2012 football season). As well, Swift’s two sisters, both also Mt. Douglas grads, were soccer players ticketed to university careers.
Oldest sister Sachi, a 2015 grad, played in the Pac West at Squamish’s Quest University, while sister Kiana, a 2018 grad, is in her third-year of eligibility as a Canada West midfielder with Prince George’s UNBC Timberwolves.
Ask Hunter Swift what leadership means to him, and it’s clearly something in which he has invested deep thought.
“The biggest thing about being a leader in high school football is just being a consistent and stable force on your team,” he begins. “I am talking both attitude-wise and playing -wise. Sometimes I may not be playing my best, but I will be their mentally, and vice-versa.
“I will never tell a player I will be there unless I can be there because at the end of the day we all depend on each other,” he adds. “So I think a lot of being a leader is just being a genuine person.”
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