Curtain call

Former Tiger starts new journey at TCU


Photo by File photo

Former Texas High football player Tevailance Hunt begins his football career with the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs.

Story by TJ Wall, Sports Editor

When Tevailance “Tevay” Hunt steps onto the gridiron on Saturday with No. 9 on his back, many eyes from all over the country, especially Texarkana, will be watching. The former Texas High Tiger will be making his debut today as a wide receiver on his new team, the TCU Horned Frogs.

Hunt lived through a less-than-ideal childhood. He and his family weren’t always privileged with some of the basic necessities of everyday life.

“We didn’t have much to eat, we didn’t have a place to sleep sometimes, and it was just little things like that,” Hunt said. “I was young, so I didn’t really know what was going on at the time, but as I got older I started realizing that this is not a good environment.”

As an escape, Hunt turned to football. However, in the ninth grade, he almost turned away from the game he loved.

“We were in the weightroom, and I didn’t want to lift weights, so coach Hawkins told me that if I didn’t want to lift weights then get out. I looked at him, and I said ‘I’ll quit right now,’ and he said, ‘if you walk out this door, don’t come back,’ and I walked out,” Hunt said. “I was just making bad decisions. I was young then, so I didn’t really have an understanding of what I was doing. I was just trying to do my own thing.”

Three days later, Hunt, realizing that he’d made a mistake, returned to the team. He received consequences for his actions and moved on from the incident.

During his senior year, Hunt was nominated to play in the Under Armour All-America game. In order to be nominated, he had to go through multiple rounds of voting and come out on top each time. On days that the polls were open, many people from all over the city would vote for Hunt in order to get him over the 50 percent mark to receive the majority of the votes.

“When the voting started, I didn’t really think that I was going to win,” Hunt said. “When I posted it [on social media] and asked people to vote for me, my phone was blowing up every day. I was just looking at it like wow, they’re actually getting together to vote for me, that’s amazing. I didn’t think everyone would come together to help me, and I thank them for that.”

Hunt credits his coaches for being by his side through his high school career. Looking back, he is thankful that he made the decision to continue to play the game.

“It’s been little things from my coaches like helping me since my ninth grade year because I was always in trouble, and I didn’t really have my head on straight,” Hunt said. “I wanted to quit football for good, but they gave me the motivation, they kept encouraging me to not quit and to keep my mindset [on getting better] because I’ve got good things in store for me. I go back and think, like, what if I would’ve quit? Look what I would’ve missed out on.”

Over the years, Hunt has gained wisdom from his experiences. He hopes that younger kids who are in similar situations would follow in his footsteps and learn from his journey.

“I would tell that [kid] to just never give up, always chase your dreams, keep God first, keep your class work first and don’t give the teacher a hard time, stay dedicated, have a good mindset,” Hunt said. “If you do that, your time will come.”

Despite the many adversities Hunt has overcome, he wouldn’t be where he is at today if it wasn’t for his mom. Because his dad wasn’t really in the picture, Hunt’s mother was all he had.

“Me and my mom’s relationship is really like no other,” Hunt said. “We’re like best friends. She raised me my whole life because I didn’t really have a dad, he wasn’t really around. Me and her have got that bond, like we connect with each other no matter what. It’s just amazing. I love her with everything I’ve got, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

At 11 a.m. today, Hunt will play his first official game at the next level. Horned Frogs’ coach Gary Patterson is a well-known coach, and Hunt expects big things from him.

“Honestly, it’s honor to be with him. He’s like the No. 6 coach in the country, so that means he knows a lot, and he’ll tell you what’s real and what’s not,” Hunt said. “He lets you know what you need to do to get the job done. I think he’ll be another great impact on my life.”

Along with having the opportunity to play for a great coach, Hunt will also be surrounded by talented players as well, one of which is former Bossier City quarterback Justin Rogers.

“I’ve known Justin for a while,” Hunt said. “He and I were actually some of the top recruits in our class. He’s really good. He’s gotten bigger and stronger, and I can’t wait to see what it’s like playing with him.”

Hunt played extremely well during his senior season at Texas High, and his goal is to continue that success at TCU.

“I just want to make a name for myself and do things I never thought I could do, continue to grow as a person, as a whole, and make an impact on the team and maybe go to the championship,” Hunt said. “For the team, I just want us to play together and make a legacy with one another and just be able to grow with each other.”

Ten years from now, Hunt plans on being in the NFL. If not, he would like to become a coach and help out the community in any way he can.

“It’s been a long journey, and it’s not stopping any time soon,” Hunt said. “It’s a good experience to come where I come from to where I am now. Not too many people can say they’ve been through all that.”