Former New York Jets head coach Herm Edwards once said, “You play to win the game.”
In the case of Seminole Chieftains starting quarterback Cade Hammond, that is the number one objective each time he steps on the field.
After coming up short last season and ending the season with a 36-16 loss to Oklahoma Christian in the 3A playoffs, Hammond is bound and determined to get to the championship game, and win.
“The number one goal this season is to help bring my team a state championship,” he said. “Going into my senior year, that in itself adds fuel to the fire in terms of what we want to do this year.”
Last year, Hammond threw for 1,284 yards and 13 touchdowns. A late-season concussion against Plainview forced Hammond to miss a few games. That and missing out on a chance to play for a state championship really motivated the young field general.
Currently he's ranked fourth on the qbhitlist.com ranking system for Oklahoma prep quarterbacks.
There is no extra pressure on the young gunslinger as he has his sights set on becoming the best at his position.
“It's an honor to be ranked that high, but the competitor in me wants the top spot,” Hammond said. “You have to beat who's is in front of you.”
Playing for Coach Snyder is a bit of tradition in the Hammond household as Cade's dad and uncle both played under the coach who has a street named after him.
“My dad and uncle both played for Coach Snyder so being able to carry on that tradition is very special,” Hammond said. “Not only is he a great coach but he's a great man. He's going to lead us in the right direction on and off the field.”
This off-season, Hammond continues the grind of attending team camps and individual workouts in hopes of continuing the tradition of winning a lot of football games in Seminole.
“Last off-season the goal was trying to get better. I'm always trying to improve, but this year I have gone to a lot of different camps trying to get a look from some college coaches and take things to the next level,” Hammond said.
Growing up, Hammond said he admired the way future hall of fame quarterback Payton Manning led on and off the field
“I looked up to his ability to lead a team,” Hammond said. “He is the true definition of a field general. I always looked up to his ability because that leads to a good offense and a good team.
Another player Hammond looks up to is Baker Mayfield.
“I like his intensity, his moxie and leadership. He plays the game the way it should be played,” Hammond said.
A quarterback is only as good as his supporting cast. For Hammond, he's excited to head into his senior season with the group of guys he's been playing with for his whole career.
“My supporting cast all throughout my career has been great,” Hammond said. “As a sophomore we were a really young team. It was a rough transition but now we have a lot of experience on both sides of the ball.”
Spending the summer traveling to various team camps allowed the Chieftains to bond as a team, he said.
“It brings us closer and that is only going to help our team,” Hammond said. “It also gets some of the younger guys some experience and ready for the speed of high school football.
Coach Snyder had nothing but great things to say about his quarterback and his family.
“Cade is a very talented quarterback. He has a great arm, nice release and has all the tools to be an excellent quarterback at the next level,” Snyder said. “I coached his dad and uncle and his grandfather is a great supporter of our program. The family is very near and dear to me. I am very thankful for their support over the years.”
Seminole kicks off the season August 31 at home against Harrah.