Football is family. It’s a phrase coaches and players at all levels have said at one time or another.
Those words hit a little differently for Summit High School senior quarterback Jimmy Hughes.
“I am really happy. It’s been a lot of fun,” Jimmy said.
He arrived in Bend only four months ago, moving from Novato, California, a small town north of San Francisco. He quickly became the Storm’s starting quarterback.
“It’s a very similar situation. And I’m happy to be part of this family,” Jimmy said.
Senior year of high school in a new state at a new school with a new team. A team that, by the way, is defending its state 5A football championship.
You might think that’s got to be tough for any kid. But when Jimmy arrived on campus, there were already three familiar faces on the roster.
Enter Kallon and Holden Booher and Charlie Kroll.
All seniors. All are originally from Novato, California. And all used to play sports with Jimmy.
“So my brother and I moved to Bend in fifth grade from Novato, California,” Holden said.
“And then Charlie came to visit us, sixth or seventh grade,” Kallon said.
“So I moved to Bend in July of 2018 from Novato, California, which is where they all came from, too,” Charlie said.
“I got to fit in really. They introduced me to their friends and it was perfect. It was a perfect scenario,” Jimmy said.
The families aren’t related. There’s no Novato-Band exchange program we know about. It’s strictly coincidental that the three families ended up in the same town at the same high school.
“It’s been really fun to have him back. He just fits in with us and is really good at football, too, so it works out,” Kallon said.
And what makes it even more surreal is that the boys played sports together back in elementary school.
“I played soccer with Holden and Kallon, I think it was spring. And then in the winter, I played basketball with Charlie,” Jimmy said.
From the pitch in elementary school to the gridiron in high school, the Novato teammates hope to recreate their childhood success one more time.
“Having a crew from Novato, California, where they’ve all grown up together, is pretty unique,” said Summit head football coach Corben Hyatt. “It’s funny that they all found their way to Summit. It is unique in the fact that they were all soccer players in elementary school together, and now they’re football players at Summit High School in Bend, Oregon, is pretty awesome.
Friendships have translated into team chemistry and Jimmy, Holden, Kallon and Charlie, along with the rest of the team, have the Storm on the brink of back-to-back state titles.
“I’m very confident in our team. I think we have built a really strong bond. We have a really strong team and I’m really excited for this Friday,” Jimmy said.
“I think our ceiling is still above us,” Coach Hyatt said.
Summit visits the Wilsonville Wildcats Friday night in the Oregon 5A semifinals. The Storm defeated Wilsonville for the championship last year.
Summit’s cross-town rivals Mountain View will play in the other semifinal, also Friday, at Silverton. It sets up for a possible all-Bend championship game next week.