While covering the THSLL, one could make the argument that we, StickStar, tend to accentuate offensive accomplishment in our recaps while defensive players are taken for granted. That is not necessarily the case as we believe, more than anything, that defense wins championships. This exact mantra played out this past weekend as ESD limited Jesuit in the Championship game to their lowest offensive production of the entire season. One of the key factors for ESD all season has been Foster Huggins' resiliency, and, this year, he is, without a doubt, the 2014 StickStar Player of the Year.
Foster’s senior season could be one of legend. Another devastating knee injury just this fall past placed Huggins' senior season in jeopardy. Foster, however, overcame this adversity and, ultimately, returned to once again provide the heart and soul of the ESD Eagle defense.
News of Fosters injury in the early part of August left me with my head shaking. A young man who had already worked through this hardship once, made it back to the State Championship Game in 2013, and had garnered a commitment to Loyola, getting injured again was hard to swallow. Surgery took place not long thereafter in September, and Foster was once again on the road to recovery.
In mid-March, rumblings abounded that Foster had put forth the effort and, through sheer determination, ultimately set a target date for his return. Honestly, I could not believe how quickly everything had progressed. On Friday, March 21st, Huggins made his return against Highland Park. He handled stepping back onto the field of play well and looked solid in his first game back. In his final game for the Eagles at the State Championship, Huggins looked to be operating at full capacity drawing the Zach Kissick matchup. Kissick, one of the shiftier players in the league, really hurts the opposition by carrying to tough spots on the field and distributing. Kissick was solid in the beginning, but, in the second half, Huggins threw down the shackles holding Kissick to few possessions and zero, second half points. Not only was Huggins influential on ball, but on gbs and in transition, as well. Without a doubt, Huggins was crucial in helping capture ESD’s first State title since 2007.
Huggins is a grounded,resilient, hard worker who operates at a different speed on the field, consuming players 1 vs. 1. We are astonished by his effort and the competitive excellence he brings to the table and could not think of a better recipient of our Player of the Year Award. CONGRATS, BROTHER!
#11 for the Eagles took care of top matchups consistently.
Huggins does a good job getting the ball off of the carpet as well.