The Harlem Bulldogs football team is 2-0 and off to the school’s best start since 1981, and Austin Hubert helped get the season started in a big way.
The senior outside linebacker was a force to be reckoned with in the season-opener at Georgia Military College on Aug.30. He recovered two fumbles – running one in for a touchdown – and forced another one to go with his nine tackles.
“He had a heck of a ballgame, he did a great job for us and was one of the key elements for us winning,” said head coach Jimmie Lewis. “It’s a performance I hope I get out of him every ballgame.”
Hubert downplayed his efforts in the game.
“I make mistakes all the time, but sometimes you do shine like I did,” Hubert said. “It really was a team effort, I just happened to be there to get the ball and everything. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did.”
Hubert, also a wide receiver, had been a special teams starter in the past but never on offense or defense. He credits making the leap to the work he did in the offseason.
“I got a personal trainer and I worked with him over the summer and he showed me proper techniques and I carried them over to the field,” said the 6-foot, 160-pound Hubert, adding that he did more resistance training to gain strength and speed.
Playing football since he was little, Hubert likes the spirit of camaraderie it fosters.
“I just love the team sport,” Hubert said. “I love how everyone works together, I think it brings people closer together.”
While football might not be his first sport of choice, it’s the one that gets him going.
“I like basketball a little better, but football is all the way to go,” Hubert said. “Football Friday nights are more exciting.”
When the bright lights of Friday night fade, Hubert will jump right onto the hardwood as a post player on the Bulldogs basketball team.
“I kind of train myself to roll into it, but I do shoot at home, I do the fundamental stuff, I do sprints because they can help me with both sports,” Hubert said. “I work on my form, shooting with and without the ball.”
With the departure of standout guard Reggie Reid, Hubert expects there will be more asked of him.
“There are a lot more people looking for me to do something more in the paint because (Reid) always dished me the ball and I was there for him,” Hubert said. “But now we need to work more with me screening and rolling. That’s why I got a personal trainer so I can get bigger in the paint.”
His leaping ability will also be on display.
“I don’t know what my vertical is, but I’m able to dunk it. My jumping ability absolutely helps.”