, 2022-10-23 06:26:43,
It’s not as though Hunter Jackson put down permanent roots in Arkadelphia. It only seems that way.
Ouachita Baptist’s sixth-year left guard has been on the OBU campus, for over half a decade.
Six years later, the graduate student has already earned an undergrad degree, is finishing a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, and he actually coached one of his current teammates (Landon Kuhn) while serving as a student coach at Arkadelphia two years ago.
“It makes me feel really old that I assisted in coaching him, and now he’s one of my teammates,” Jackson said.
He has made the most of his time at Ouachita Baptist.
“I red-shirted my freshman year, played for two years, and then we had covid,” he said. “We have another guy on the line [Payton Stafford] who is also a sixth-year guy. We’re probably the longest-tenured players ever.”
The nationally ranked Tigers (7-0) were scheduled to travel to El Dorado on Saturday to face Southern Arkansas in the Murphy USA Classic.
Ouachita Baptist is currently ranked No. 3 in the D2Football.com Top 25 Poll behind Grand Valley and Angelo State. And, while the accolades are nice, Jackson and his senior-oriented offensive line mates, have their sights on a bigger picture.
“We’re very self-aware about our potential, but potential goes nowhere without hard work,” Jackson said. “It’s been a lot of fun. Me and Stafford, this is our sixth year, and [tackle] Anthony Chairez, this is his fifth year. Our center [former Conway star Nathan Turner], is in his fifth year. He just married his high school sweetheart [Madison]. We have a lot of good camaraderie with this group.”
Former Alma standout Zac Henson rounds out the Tigers’ offensive line.
Jackson said quarterback Riley Harmes — a Fremont, Neb., native who transferred to OBU from Nebraska-Kearney — has been a great leader.
Jackson was a standout on the field and in the classroom at Ozark High School. He also earned his Eagle Scout status, something he carries over to the football field.
“To me, I believe it does,” he said. “There are so many things you learn in life lessons — discipline, responsibility and accountability. Plus, these are memories you can have forever.”
Things were going well for Jackson until the covid-19 shutdown in March 2020, which turned out to be both a blessing and a curse.
Most Division II schools canceled their 2020 seasons.
“It was very strange for everyone,” Jackson said. “We just lost that season altogether. There was a period of time when you didn’t…
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