By MIKE ECKERT
TRAVERSE CITY —
Family brought Florida native Trevor Hunt to Traverse City.
Here, he’s found another family with the Traverse City Wolves.
“I’ve been practicing, helping out the team,” Hunt said. “This is family to me. They took me in. It’s a great coaching staff, great players, great team to play for. This is my family.”
Hunt — a 20-year-old quarterback from Cape Coral, Fla. — will make his Wolves debut on Saturday at Thirlby field when TC hosts the Southeast Michigan Mercenaries.
“My grandpa had a triple bypass, so I came up here to help my grandma out,” Hunt said. “I have a fiance up here too. So two reasons why I came up here.”
A 2009 grad, Hunt will return to the football field after several years away from the game.
“I went to a 5A school, played quarterback all four years,” Hunt said. “I had a couple of offers to big schools, a couple of offers to small schools. But I got hurt my senior year, I tore my meniscus, and said I was done with it.”
Georgia Tech was one of the schools looking at Hunt.
“That was the biggest one,” he said. “I went there on a visit. Great people, great coaches. I just got injured, so I couldn’t make it.”
Now, Hunt’s hoping a good showing with the Wolves in the Great Midwest Football League could get him another shot at playing college football.
“That’s my dream again,” Hunt said. “As a little kid, I always wanted to go to the next level and see where I could go with it. So that’s definitely an option. I need schooling. You can’t make it anywhere without schooling.”
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Hunt will be one of the options at quarterback for the Wolves on Saturday.
“One thing that truly helps is he’s got some good height,” Wolves head coach Rick Micham said. “We’ve always had shorter quarterbacks, not by design, just the way it’s been. His height is going to help up and he’s got a really good delivery of the ball. The first test is going to be playing against opposite colors. We’ll throw him in the mix and he’ll give us a true feel for it.”
Brian Mauer, a defensive back for Traverse City, played quarterback last week and led the Wolves to a 32-29 overtime win over the London Silverbacks. Micham said he will still be at the position on Saturday.
All-Star kicker Pablo Bocardo played quarterback for the Wolves in the first few weeks of the season after injuries knocked out the top two players on the depth chart in the season opener.
“It started out that way where we had some good depth, but it happened so quick with the guys going out in the first game, we’ve finally built back up,” Micham said. “We’re happy with the guys we have. And each guys brings something a little different.”
Hunt said he loves the competition at the position, as it makes everyone better.
The Wolves enter Saturday’s game 3-2, while the Mercenaries are 4-1.
“It’s going to be a true test for us to see how we’ve progressed this season,” Micham said. “We don’t have a ton of information on them, but they’re a very clean team. They really know their plays because they’ve been together awhile. They’re the caliber team that we’ve been working towards being. It’s going to be a great test for us.”
Traverse City is on a two-game winning streak and has learned how to win close games. Besides the overtime victory, the Wolves also beat Grand Rapids 18-17 before the bye week.
“The guys don’t give up,” Micham said. “We had a ‘bend but don’t break’ situation with the players that we had. We didn’t have any of our starting linebackers last week. We had a lot of guys in different positions and the fact that they were able to step up and get the job done just shows a lot of their character.”
As the team continues to get healthy, the Wolves will also have the advantage of playing at home more often than not. Three of their last five games are at Thirlby Field.
“It’s a little bit more nerve-racking to be in front of our home fans, but at the same time it gives them that adrenaline rush to get the job done,” Micham said. “We’re excited to have a couple of them at home.”
As for Hunt, he’s just excited to be back in the game.
“I’m nervous,” Hunt said. “You get those butterflies before a game, I’ve had them since Sunday when I knew I was playing. I’ve had butterflies this whole time. I’m definitely nervous, but I’m ready to play.”