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Huffman’s a True Leader on Defense
Senior captain Sam Huffman is a leader on defense for the Guilford football team at the safety position. Sam also plays baseball at Guilford High School. (Photo courtesy of Sam Huffman)
Sam Huffman’s favorite day of the week is Friday. That’s because, for the past several years, Sam has been spending his Friday nights on the gridiron alongside his teammates with the Guilford football squad. He’s hoping for one last chance to do that as a senior.
Sam, a senior captain for Guilford, has been playing football since he was 10 years old. Sam was inspired to step on the field by his brothers Casey and Clay Huffman, who are both program alums.
“My friends got me into playing football, as well as my older brothers. They both played for the program,” Sam says. “I always liked the game of football and wanted to try it out. My favorite aspect of the sport is going out on the field on Friday nights with my brothers, knowing we are playing for each other and, no matter what, we have each other’s backs.”
Unfortunately for Sam and his teammates, the Guilford football team has been limited to 7-on-7 non-contact play after the CIAC canceled the 11-on-11 tackle season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the limitations, Sam has still enjoyed the experience of practicing and competing throughout the last few weeks. Everyone on the squad is staying optimistic there will be some football played during the spring.
“My favorite moment from this season has been just practicing and working every day to get better in preparation for what’s ahead,” says Sam. “I hope that we can still continue to play in this fall season and keep grinding as a team, so we can be prepared for this, hopefully, upcoming spring season.”
If there is a spring season, Sam plans on being a leader on whom Guilford’s younger players can rely. Sam also knows that any sports played need to take place in a safe and secure environment.
“This whole pandemic has definitely affected the way sports are played, and I just hope we can play in a manner that keeps the players, coaches, and parents safe,” Sam says. “In this spring season of football, I want to be the guy that everyone can count on and lead this team to success down the road.”
A safety, Sam snagged four interceptions for Guilford during the 7-on-7 season. Head Coach Anthony Salvati describes Sam as one of the team’s leaders on defense.
“Sam was a starter for us on defense as a junior. This year, he was the captain of our defense during our 7-on-7 season, and he led us with four interceptions,” says Sam. “He’s a big leader on the field for us.”
Sam appreciates that he can always go to his coach with any problem. Sam views Salvati as a huge mentor for him.
“My head coach is my role model, and I look up to Coach Salavti with the utmost respect. He isn’t just a coach on my high school football team—he’s a person I feel like I can talk to about anything,” Sam says. “Coach Salvati has always wanted the best from me and the rest of the team. He’s the kind of guy to not stand down from anything, and that mentality has definitely played a major role with the mindset of the team.”
Sam is also a member of the Guilford baseball team, for which he’s a pitcher and an outfielder. When he graduates from high school, Sam plans to play both of his sports and study international maritime business at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Regardless of what sport he’s playing, Sam always tries to set an excellent example whenever he puts on the Guilford uniform.
“I’m always looking to get better on the field, and I come to the practices with the mindset that I’m going to get better. I hustle every play and make others want to work harder, as well,” says Sam. “I’m working out every day in the gym before football practice to get bigger, faster, and stronger. I owe it to my team to be the best version of myself, no matter what season it is.”