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Jenks Gazette


Trojan Hunter Spankowski a Top Lineman

By MIKE MOGUIN
Sports Writer

WARMING UP: Jenks’ offensive lineman Hunter Spankowski goes through pregame warmups with his team before the Union game on Sept. 7 at Chapman Stadium.


Reagan Renfroe Photography


A highlight in the 2017 season for the Jenks Trojans has been senior offensive lineman Hunter Spankowski (6-2, 270), who received preseason attention as one of the area’s top linemen. With the fact that Jenks is accustomed to fast starts going into district play, Spankowski says that the slow start this season has been a test so far. 

“It’s definitely adversity,” Spankowski says. “We feel like we went out against Union in the first 24 minutes and really played hard and we thought we were in a great position to win that game. It really hurts, losing to Union. They all hurt, but the first three games have really tested us. But, we’re progressively getting better at our craft and we’re making sure we’re doing the things that we need to do to progress in the right direction. I think we’re getting there.” The win over Norman attested to that.

Jenks has been on the receiving end of a pair of blowouts but had impressive performances at times against Bixby, and then had a phenomenal night of offense against rival-Union in the annual Backyard Bowl. However, the Trojan defense could not stop the Redskins’ offensive threats in that game. And, turnovers, which have hurt them this season, were also costly. Union returned a fumble for a late TD that sealed a 59-40 win for the Redskins.

While the Trojans lost several skill players to graduation last year, new ones are emerging, as was seen against Union.

“(Running back) Noah (Hernandez) played great. We’re really happy to have him. Whenever he’s on the field, he’s a game-changer,” Spankowski says. “As a lineman, it’s great to block for someone who likes to run over people. I know Jacob Shelley is hurt, but he is a strong back that we look forward to get back. At wide receiver, D.J. Wagoner, Blake Pitcock and Braden Phipps are very talented. I think our skill position players are great.”

Spankowski, known as “Spanky” by his teammates, began playing flag football in second grade in Wisconsin, where he is from.

“I’m a Cheesehead,” he says. “I love the Green Bay Packers. Go Pack Go! The Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks and Wisconsin Badgers are my favorite teams.”

He started playing in pads in the third grade and has been playing ever since. He moved to Jenks with his family in the sixth grade.

“When you put on the pads and you’re between the whistles, you get to do some things you normally don’t get to do. You get to go around and throw people around and destroy them, if you will,” Spankowski says. “It is a chance to go around and show the gifts that God gave you. I love going out there and competing. I’m a competitor. I hate losing; I love winning and I think that’s probably the competitive nature of it. Also, being with friends, going out there and being with my bros, my starting five linemen, going out against their d-linemen and just fighting. It’s great. I love competition.”

Spankowski believes being smart is his strength to excelling as a player.

“I know the game in and out. I know what to do for the most part on the play,” he says. “I think I’m a little undersized, but I make up for it in effort. I go until the whistle. I have a love for the game. I never stop, so my drive is like my biggest thing.”

There are NFL linemen Spankowski looks up to model his play after, as long as they wear green and gold.

“I did like Josh Sitton, then he went with the (Chicago) Bears. As of now, I do like David Bakhtiari, the left tackle of the Packers. I love Packers’ o-line,” he says.

Spankowski is entertaining offers from UCO, Emporia State, Southwestern Oklahoma State and NSU to play in college.

As he winds down his prep career with the Trojans, Spankowski is inspired by the continuous coaching of his coach, Allan Trimble, despite having ALS.

“You say, well, he is out there coaching when he can be with his family,” Spankowski says. “What is he going through? It makes me think as a team leader, like, I can’t take a play off, I can’t stop, I can’t be tired because I have a man who is laying his life on the line for me as a player so I can grow into a young man. As someone who has changed my life for the better, he’s a great man and a great coach, and I respect him and I can’t wait to win a gold ball for him this year.”

Updated 10-09-2017

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