Huntley has overcome obstacles to help lead Parrott football team
The player wearing No. 3 on Arendell Parrott Academy’s football team has been juggling three things lately: academics, football and hurricane dislocation.
Senior Matthew Huntley, who lives in Grifton along the Contentnea Creek, spent the days before and after Hurricane Florence as an evacuee.
“This time, the water came up only into the yard,” he said.
But his street has flooded before, in both Matthew and Floyd. That’s why a couple of days before Florence arrived, Huntley and his family followed evacuation orders and moved to Greenville to stay with another family member for a week.
In spite of that distraction, Huntley has stayed focused on contributing to the APA football team and keeping up with academics. By the end of the Oct. t Homecoming victory against Rocky Mount Academy, the wide receiver/safety had racked up 20 receptions for a total of 518 yards in the game. In the Patriots’ first seven games, he had 11 total touchdowns and four interceptions on defense.
Coach Matt Beaman credits Huntley’s hard work and team spirit.
“When you combine that with his playmaking ability, you have a dynamic football player who can lead a team,” Beaman said of Huntley.
A three-sport athlete for Parrott, Huntley has learned how to balance athletics and classroom responsibilities.
“I use my time in study hall every day to try to get ahead for the week,” he said. “I also have to set aside some time on Saturday or Sunday to study.”
His other responsibility is a part-time job at the Piggly Wiggly in Ayden. Like his fellow Parrott seniors, Matthew is working on college applications.
“Yes, it’s time consuming and a bit stressful,” Huntley said. “But my counselors and teachers are really helping.”