If you are walking around Chaparral high school on friday nights and you hear “Sugar Sugar, Honey honey” playing over the intercom on the football field, that can only mean one thing. Kurt Shughart has made another big play.
The Chaparral senior safety and New Mexico State commit has become one of the best at his position in the state and to think, he had never played the position until he was a sophomore in high school.
“I’ve found a new found love for it,” Shughart told Sports360AZ.com. “After my sophomore year, Coach (Conrad) Hamilton asked me if I wanted to play offense or defense and I hesitated for a second and he said ‘alright you’re going to play safety’ and just walked away. So since then, I’ve fallen in love with playing safety. It’s awesome.”
Coach Hamilton’s specialty is the defensive back position having played it at Eastern Washington and in the NFL for five years. Shughart has been a sponge with the amount of information and knowledge his head coach provides him on a daily basis.
“It’s been awesome just playing for him and playing in his defense as a safety,” explained Shughart. “I can come down and line up in the box, play a lot of man coverage, I mean I love to play man. He’s the best at teaching how to play man. I came in here my sophomore year and I didn’t know anything about safety. Coach Hamilton’s taught me everything, I’ve just had a rest opportunity to come in here and play for him.”
The Chaparral defense as a whole has had no problems adjusting from jumping up from division II to division I. They have allowed just 16.8 points per game including their 19-14 round one win over the Highland Hawks and with playmakers like Shughart, Brandon Jamison, Christian Skeptaris, Parker Walton and more, this Firebirds defense could be a serious threat. After all defense does win championships.
“Were a great defense,” stated Shughart. “I mean, this is the best defense I’ve ever been on since I’ve been here at Chaparral. Coach Hamilton is just s guru…We’ve been great all year.”
Chaparral moves on and will face a tough round two opponent in Desert Ridge on the road next week.