Curtis’ Hunter Dale still undecided _lowres

John Curtis' Hunter Dale

Dale, a John Curtis senior defensive back, has recorded 48 tackles, three interceptions, eight pass breakups and a sack. He has also caused three fumbles and recovered two. He is averaging 23 yards per punt return and 33 yards per kickoff return. Curtis (10 -1) will go for its fourth straight state title when it plays Jesuit at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the Superdome.

Most people don’t get to make it to the Superdome one time, and here you are going for a fifth time. What’s that like?

It’s crazy, actually. My eighth- grade year, I went and didn’t get to dress out. We lost to Evangel that year. I remember thinking then that I wanted to win a state championship. Now we are going for the fourth in a row and not a lot of classes have done that. It’s almost an unreal thing, but you can’t let it overwhelm you that much.

What’s the latest on your recruiting?

I’m just trying to focus on the state championship, and then I will focus on that. Everything is going well right now. I am still talking to Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Miami, Florida, Arizona, Arizona State and Oregon. Those are some of the ones I have talked to recently.

When do you think you will decide?

Probably right after state when I take my officials (visits).

What are you looking for in a college?

Definitely somewhere I can play early and where they have good coaches. My dad always talks to me about how the coach will be basically building me into a man for the next four years of my life.

What’s your normal pregame routine?

I usually leave the school at the same time. Go eat pregame meal with my teammates. Then I get back to the school. I go crack jokes with my trainer because he is a really funny dude. Get taped up. Charge my phone. Get dressed and then I listen to Trap music. That gets me in my zone.

How did you end up wearing No. 1?

I was going into my freshman year of summer baseball and my mom wanted to get a jersey. She kept asking coach Johnny (Curtis) what number I was going to be. She kept asking. One day she asked and he said “No. 1” and that’s what I ended up with. I love that number. It was a good number for a freshman, so I just kept it all four years.

You also play baseball at Curtis. What’s your best sport?

It’s really hard to choose, but probably the one I am playing at the time.

How tough do you think it will be to play both in college?

It’s going to be a challenge. But I don’t think it’s anything I can’t do. A lot of people do it.

Who are your favorite professional NFL players?

Ed Reed and Shaun Taylor are definitely my favorite players. Both went to Miami, and I watch their highlight tapes before every game.

Do you have a nickname?

Everyone calls me High Definition because of my initials HD.

Do any of the three state titles stand out above the others?

The state championship the year we won the national championship (2012) was the one that stands out.

Has it hit you yet that you are about to play your last high school game?

It hasn’t really sunk in yet. It will probably hit me after the game when we don’t have any more Saturday practices or I don’t have to wake up early in the mornings or stay after school extra late. That’s when it will sink in.

What will it be like taking that jersey off for the last time Friday night?

I will probably shed some tears. It will be my last time with my teammates, breaking the huddle out one last time. Hopefully holding up that trophy as state champions.

Rod Walker