POTTSBORO — At the start of Hunter Fulton’s senior season, his responsibilities had doubled. He had worked his way into the starting lineup on defense towards the end of his junior year but now was going to be starting in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
“Going to do both and special teams, it was a huge jump knowing what’s going on at all times,” he said. “It was a big jump conditioning-wise.”
Fulton was able find success in all aspects of his new role while flourishing in his old one and that led to him announcing his decision to play football for Austin College.
He chose the ‘Roos over Oklahoma Baptist and Kentucky Wesleyan.
“Austin College was really interested and the first college that reached out. The others showed interest but weren’t really recruiting me that hard,” Fulton said. “I wanted to go somewhere I was wanted.”
Fulton helped Pottsboro to the best season in school history as the Cardinals went 15-1 and finished as the Class 3A Division I state runner-up with a 42-35 loss against defending champion Grandview in the title game.
Pottsboro set the school record for wins, breaking the old mark of 13 which was set during the program’s state semifinal appearance in 2008 that was the best season before 2019.
“I felt good contributing as much as I possibly could,” Fulton said.
As a member of the offensive line, he was a first-team all-district selection at guard while the Cardinals smashed the school record for points in a season with 720 (45 points per game), which was nearly 200 points better than the old mark of 525 set in 2015.
Pottsboro produced nearly 7,000 yards of offense (6,728) for an average of 420.5 per contest and had three players on that side of the ball — running back Cy Shope, quarterback Braden Plyler and wide receiver Titus Lyons — earn Class 3A all-state accolades.
On defense, he was seventh on the team with 83 tackles, 10 for a loss, to go with five and a half sacks, two passes defended, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery as a first-team all-district defensive end.
“I’m a defensive player. That’s where I want to be,” Fulton said. “I told them I’d play a little offense if they needed because I’ll do whatever the team wants. But defense for sure.”
Austin College went 5-5 this past fall and 4-4 in the Southern Athletic Association. It was a three-win improvement over the prior season and the program’s best effort since consecutive 5-5 campaigns from 2013-15.
“Playing time was definitely the No. 1 factor,” Fulton said. “I wanted to play wherever I went.”
Texoma players on the roster this past season included Denison’s Stephen Fulenchek, Pottsboro’s Sam Bevers, Gunter’s Trey Carr and Kennon Magers and Whitesboro’s Riley Dickson.
“I talked to Sam before my football season even started. He said we’re all about football at Austin College, how well I would like it and it helped make my decision,” Fulton said.