This View Park Prep junior leads the football team with fairness and humility, reinforcing within teammates the importance of appreciating each other’s efforts on the field. Wide receiver Jabari Hughes is a captain of the View Park Knights football team.
“I’m well respected on the team,” Hughes said. “But at the same time, I respect them, so they can give it right back.”
After playing as running back during his time in Pop Warner football, Hughes impressed Knights football head coach Ken Henderson with his work at wide receiver.
Hughes became a starter for the varsity squad in the ninth grade; he had spirit even when the team did not believe in themselves. A competitive hunger and aggression surged within the Knights during his sophomore year.
“Last year, it turned around because everybody [was] on point, we [weren’t] taking no slack from anybody,” Hughes said. “If you wanted to mess around, it was either you suffer the consequences or you leave the team. It was that type of mentality that we all had.”
That year was also the season when Hughes made his first touchdown.
“I knew that every catch I made, I had to persevere and make another better catch for these guys out there,” he said.
As far as classes go, Hughes enjoyed learning history and geometry. Numbers come easy to him and football keeps his math skills sharp.
“I’m not a guy who believes everything he hears, so I need proof, I need evidence, and that was what the (history) class was,” Hughes said. “Numbers are always easy for me because I always made it relative to something else.”
Hughes mentioned how View Park feels like a family; many of the students know each other. The excitement from winning games last year also attracted more students to the program.
“When you start winning, it inspires other kids to come on and play, even inexperienced kids,” Hughes said. “They want to see what it’s about, like who’s bringing talent and they know about me at school, but they want to see and believe it for themselves at practice.”
Henderson and Hughes’ Godfather are role models to the junior wide out. Hughes mentioned how Henderson motivates him.
“I’m doing a lot and this man right here (Henderson), he played semi-pro league and he was doing a lot and he was a monster,” Hughes said. “If I’m doing what he’s doing, then that means I’m in the right path.”