By Paul Condry and Matt Kopsea
Hunter Gennicks has never been one to take all the credit for his success.
The talented Linton-Stockton quarterback has always spread the wealth around the football field.
“A lot of it (success) comes from the other athletes on my team,” Gennicks said. “We have a great offensive line that makes it very easy to make big plays. We also have some great weapons catching the ball so it helps a lot when I can throw the ball and be extremely confident those guys are coming down with it.
“Other than that, it comes from the off-season weight training and workouts with my teammates. We work hard all year round doing the extra stuff and it’s paying off now.”
It certainly has been rewarding for the 5-foot-11, 195-pound four-year starter as he has the top-ranked (Class 2A) Miners off to a 4-0 start by completing 29-of-48 passes for 397 yards with five touchdowns and just one interception. He also has 31 carries for 613 yards with 10 touchdowns.
He has been just as effective defensively in the secondary with 24 tackles and an interception returned for a touchdown.
“We set very high standards on this team, and I really think that’s an important thing to do to be successful,” said Gennicks, who threw for more than 1,400 yards with 20 touchdowns and two interceptions and ran for nearly 1,200 yards and 14 scores in 2021. “We want to go win a state championship and have an undefeated season.
“I don’t really think about my personal goals that much. I just play the absolute best I can and help my team win. If the stats come with that, that’s great, but that’s not what I’m striving for.”
Like most gifted athletes, Gennicks’ talents are not just limited to the gridiron.
In addition to being a member of the Miners’ basketball team which captured a second straight sectional crown earlier this year, he also takes part in several events for the track and field squad.
“I love competing, so playing three sports definitely keeps that drive going all the time,” explained Gennicks. “I started playing basketball again as a junior and I really think that shape me into a better athlete. I also love the relationships that come with having so many teammates and coaches that I know I can always rely on if I need them.”
He also takes plenty of pride in the classroom academically with a 4.177 grade-point average, which is good for second in his graduating class.
“It’s very difficult to manage my time with all the athletic and academic activities I participate in,” Gennicks said. “However, I have a great group of family and friends who have taught me the self-discipline to stay on task and work for that main goal. I really just take it day by day and make sure that I get as much accomplished as I can to put me in a position to succeed.”
Someone who has invested a lot of time into helping him is Linton-Stockton head football coach Brian Oliver, who also just happens to be Hunter’s uncle.
“Hunter is probably the hardest working kid I have ever coached,” Oliver said. “He is always working on his skills. He is very goal oriented. Hunter is a great example of what Miner football is all about.”
Gennicks also has a lot of praise for his boss as well.
“Coach Oliver is my uncle, so we have had a great relationship my whole life,” Gennicks said. “We always dreamed of my senior year being able to play with the whole family together. His son, my cousin Paul, and my brother Hank all getting to play together is something very special.”
Hunter is also thankful to get the chance to compete with fellow four-year regular, offensive lineman-linebacker Wrigley Franklin.
“Wrigley is truly a special athlete,” Gennicks explained. “It’s not often you see lineman as agile and athletic as him. We had a very good football and basketball team last year and he started both ways on offense and defense in football and he started every game in basketball. He throws discus in track and is very good at that as well. Not only is he a great athlete, but he is a great teammate and leader. He is the type of guy you can always count on and know he’s got your back all the time.”
After going 10-1 a year ago and losing to eventual Class 2A state runner-up Evansville Mater Dei in the sectional semifinals, Gennicks and company have worked hard to get into position to once again compete for the program’s first sectional crown since winning the 2016 Class 1A state championship.
“We have great coaches that have put together a great off-season and in-season program to make sure we stay healthy and strong all year round,” Gennicks said. “They do a great job teaching us the value of nutrition as well. The nutrition really helps build clean muscle and improves our strength and athleticism.
“I think playing multiple sports greatly contributes to my conditioning. After basketball or track, I would usually lift and do lots of plyos which really helped my body perform at a high level for long periods of time.”
The next step in Hunter’s quest to make it to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis takes place this Friday when Linton-Stockton travels to Boonville (3-1).