Tori Vail; Edited by Kamri Gillies

The Dawg Pound works day and night to reach their goals. The Hillcrest High School Football team spends hours in practice after school and in the mornings Monday through Thursday, Friday night games, and even Saturday mornings with the little league Huskies. The ultimate goal is to better themselves as individuals, and more importantly, to become more united as a whole. They have carried on the husky legacy of being good athletes, better students, and even better citizens. 

“The Huskies stand for the four pillars of character: honesty, loyalty, commitment, and accountability,” Coach Bryant exclaims.

Bryant has been coaching high school football for 20 years, the last two of which have been at Hillcrest High School as part of the Dawg Pound.

The HHS football team is made up of 79 players who represent their school and community with husky pride. These boys are examples on the field, in the classroom, and everywhere they go. 

The scoreboard is secondary when it comes to being an incredible athlete. The main focus is being an example to the school. Courage, confidence, kindness, great character, and grades are all important factors to the team. Ask them about all the husky booties they’ve had to do, you’ll then understand. 

Bryant holds the men on his team to a standard of excellence for their success in life. His goals for his athletes are to see them grow and become productive citizens in society. Bryant has used his experience to “provide the team with tools to succeed in life and  to one day become outstanding husbands, fathers, and career men,” he said.

If the players have learned one thing this year, Coach Bryant hopes that it has been to never give up.

 “These kids have faced a lot of adversity this year. From Covid-19, to injuries, to playing teams that have a lot more kids than us who aren’t in the rebuilding phase,” Bryant exclaimed passionately. “But what I love about these kids is that they come out every Monday as if they’re champions. They don’t complain, their jersey’s are tucked in, and they’re ready to go.” 

Talon Yates, #5 – QB, RB, LB says, “I give my 100% for my brothers. If I don’t give my 100% I can’t expect anyone else to…I want the team to be successful, which isn’t always on the scoreboard that includes grades and respecting the school as a whole. Go, dawgs!”

Zac Erickson, #48 – TE, LB adds, “What’s my why? My why is making sure that this foundation that we are building for Hillcrest stays strong…It’s the character on and off the field that makes or breaks the culture we are building. And I’m not about to leave the dawg pound knowing I didn’t give my all to make this place better than when I first got here.” 

Anthony Vail, #26 – SB, FS, concludes with, “I give my 100% because football is way more than myself. This team can’t function without everyone doing their assignment. I want to leave the drive and the dedication that we laid down as seniors. Discipline. Detail. Desire.” 

The dawg pound gives their all to best represent HHS with pride and dignity. The secret to success is to remember that all programs need to come together as one. All Packs United. The football team is putting in the effort to better the school and community. This is their why.