Readers' All-Metro football player of the year: Union's Hunter Atyia
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Sunday, December 23, 2012
12/23/12 at 7:05 AM
Before the past two seasons, Union quarterback Hunter Atyia was selected by Tulsa World readers as the area's top quarterback.
After this season, World readers have made him their choice as the Metro Player of the Year.
Atyia edged out Owasso quarterback Jaylen Lowe for the award by less than 300 votes. Both of them had similar seasons as they led their teams to the Class 6A semifinals. Both are excellent punters and shared the District 6A-1 player of the year award.
Other finalists for the award were Wagoner's Lawrence Evitt, Jenks' Trey'Vonne Barr'e, Fort Gibson's Jake Gandara, Verdigris' Tanner Smith, Cascia Hall's Abrm McQuarters and the staff's choice, East Central's Stanvon Taylor.
Atyia, who passed for 2,141 yards and 20 touchdowns, won another election this year when he was voted as Union's Homecoming king.
"He definitely has that personality that a lot of people are drawn to," Union coach Kirk Fridrich said. "And that is part of what makes him a good quarterback. People want to play with him and for him."
Atyia directed a Union offense that increased its scoring output every week until Week 7 when it produced 59 points against Sand Springs. The Redskins, after a 2-2 start, averaged 54 points in their last six regular-season games. Atyia, despite the rarity for Union of not having a featured running back this year, kept the Redskins offense in high gear. Besides his passing, he also rushed for 481 yards and six TDs.
"There's no doubt that he had to show more leadership and carry more of the load this year," Fridrich said.
Atyia's father, Darren, was a punter for the University of Oklahoma from 1983-86.
"He gave me some great tips," Hunter Atyia said.
Hunter's top statistical game came when he passed for 385 yards and four touchdowns against Stillwater - a week after losing to Owasso in a heartbreaker that dropped Union's record to an uncharacteristic 2-2. The Stillwater game launched Union on an eight-game winning streak that was capped by a victory in the semifinals at Edmond Santa Fe.
"That was my favorite game," Atyia said. "We blew them out after a lot of people picked against us and there was a lot of smack talk. We're not usually underdogs."
Union lost in the semifinals to Jenks as Atyia suffered a concussion early in the game. Atyia has fully recovered and is looking ahead to making his college choice and to track season. He has January visits planned to Air Force and Tulsa.
Although the season didn't end on the field as he would have liked, Atyia's football career at Union included being a key player in two state titles.
"It's been a blast," Atyia said.
Player, School||votes |
1. Hunter Atyia, Union||1,632|
2. Jaylen Lowe, Owasso||1,358|
3. Tanner Smith, Verdigris|
4. Stanvon Taylor, East Central|
5. Trey'Vonne Barr'e, Jenks|
6. Abrm McQuarters, Cascia Hall|
7. Lawrence Evitt, Wagoner|
8. Jake Gandara, Fort Gibson|
Original Print Headline: Leadership was evident in Atyia
Barry Lewis 918-581-8393