Many things have changed for the Waldorf football team since 2016; the most glaring is the team’s record. In 2016, the Warriors were 2-8, with one of those wins coming from a forfeit. The Warriors have also been through three head coaches in that time frame. The 2016 season was the final for Kent Anderson, who spent five seasons at Waldorf. Anderson was followed by Josh Littrell, who preceded current coach Will Finley.
One thing hasn’t changed. His name is Samuel Huntley from Dania Beach, Florida – a 5’10” 180 freshman at the time, “Waldorf took a chance on me,” Huntley said. “I had some problems back at home; Waldorf gave me a chance to come here and help turn the program around.”
Fans took a few moments to recognize the Waldorf legend through the excitement of the 42-17 win over Dakota State on Saturday. In the second quarter, Waldorf quarterback Jordan Cooper hit Huntley for a 35-yard pass play giving him over 2000 receiving yards for his career. “It means a lot, and I couldn’t have done it without my former quarterback Hilton Joseph as well as (current Waldorf quarterback) Jordan Cooper,” Huntley explained.
The connection between Joesph and Huntley started right away. That first season in 2016, Huntley caught 32 passes for 290 yards and scored one touchdown. Huntley had his breakout years for Waldorf in 2017, under first-year head coach Josh Littrell, and in 2018, he caught over 100 passes for over 1200 yards. With those years, Huntley could’ve packed up and left Waldorf for greener pastures, but he didn’t – he stayed “(I wanted to make this team) into a championship team rather than pack my stuff up and leave when it gets hard,” Huntley stated – “I want the grind and the hardship so we can overcome it.”
Some of that hardship Huntley mentioned came in 2019 when he played in just one game and caught three passes for 54 yards. Add in a pandemic season in 2020. Huntley came back to catch 27 passes for 265 yards before leaving the Waldorf football team after the 2020 season.
“I took the entire year off (2021) to get back mentally”, Huntley explained. He went back to Florida, where he spent time with his family. Huntley also said that he wasn’t healthy and that taking 2021 off helped him heal after a decade of football. Huntley spent time with his support system, who he says have supported him through thick and thin, “When things got down, they also were there, my mom, my dad, my brothers, my guys (teammates) you know what I’m saying – it’s just a blessing.”
One of Huntley’s biggest motivations is his brother, Tyler, a quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. “It’s motivation, seeing my brother on T.V. on Sundays; it just makes you want to do better and makes you want to grind to get there.”
Huntley doesn’t put himself first and is clearly a leader of the Waldorf football team. The evidence of that comes straight from his teammates, who, before the season started, voted Huntley a captain. In the Waldorf football program, a player must be nominated by one of their teammates and voted on by the team to be named a captain. “I’m just being me. When they see a real, authentic, and realness in how I carry myself and how I try and help everyone carry themselves in a first-class manner and do everything right”, Huntley said.
Huntley has earned the right to go after the two Waldorf all-time receiving records he doesn’t already own. Sam is already Waldorf’s (four-year) all-time leader in career receptions. He’s closing in on his former teammate Ryan Martinez’s all-time touchdowns record (29) and James Loydd’s all-time receiving yards record of 2,251. After Saturday’s game, Huntley had 2,104 career yards and 21 touchdowns. “Stay tuned, I have that touchdown record coming up, and we’re gonna continue to get those receptions up, continued to get the yardage up, and now we gonna chase that touchdown,” Huntley said we excitement.
He is already a true legend, not just because of what he’s done on the field, but more importantly, Huntley is a fan favorite off the field.