Hunter Arters has big arm, bright future
It was quite a football season for Hillgrove High School. The Hawks, based in Powder Springs, Ga., advanced to the Class 6A state quarterfinals before falling to another powerhouse team – North Gwinnett.
Four seniors off that 11-2 Hillgrove team will be playing college football next year, so let the reloading process begin.
Fortunately for the Hawks, Hunter Arters is making impressive strides toward the varsity level. Quarterbacking Hillgrove’s eighth grade team this past season, Arters led the Hawks to the playoffs while completing 81 of 121 passes for 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pounder missed two games with a groin injury, both of them Hillgrove losses. Other than that, it was a memorable season.
“I liked the players on my team,” Arters said. “I thought we had a pretty good team overall. There was nothing much I didn’t like about it. It was fun all the way around.”
The fun actually started over the summer, when Arters attended the Duel in Massillon, Ohio. Among the quarterbacks headed into eighth grade, he finished in third place.
Hunter said the strong showing in NFA’s showcase event gave him a “boost” heading into his season. His dad, Jason, agreed.
“From a dad’s perspective, I think he kind of went out there not knowing what to expect against a national field,” Jason Arters said. “I think he came out of it saying, ‘Hey, I made it to the finals but I literally could have won that.’ From that perspective, I watched his confidence grow a ton.”
Airing it out
Playing quarterback since the first grade, when he made the transition from center, Arters has been developing into a lethal passer. This past season, he averaged over 200 yards and 2 touchdowns a game through the air. “A lot of it is natural, but I work on throwing almost every time I go to a workout,” Arters said.
While his success obviously shines through on the stat sheet, Arters has been playing football long enough to know there is more to being a standout QB than having good numbers. “I like being the leader out there, and I think it’s very important,” he said. “You can keep an eye on everybody and make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to do so the team can be successful. And playing quarterback has taught me to be a leader and it’s given me life lessons on what I need to do when I’m older, when I don’t have football, with my job in the future and with my family.”
Arters is still a rising young talent in football, and he’s focusing on starting for Hillgrove’s freshman team next season while continuing to prepare for the varsity level.
NFA has helped Arters elevate his game. Since his fifth grade season, he’s been going to two or three camps a year.
“They’ve helped me a lot,” Arters said. “They improved my overall throwing mechanics, taught me how to use my core and lower body when I’m throwing, not just my arm. And they helped me make better decisions reading defenses.”