10/17/13 — Hammonds growing in Gators' offense

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Hammonds growing in Gators' offense

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 17, 2013 1:48 PM

Tre Hammonds almost didn't step onto the football field this season. Thankfully, Mrs. Hammonds had a change of heart after weeks of pleading by her son.

A history of concussions caused concern and Tre initially planned to concentrate on basketball and baseball this season.

Just days before Spring Creek's first scrimmage, head coach Aaron Sanders received a phone call with the good news -- Hammonds would indeed play football this season.

"We really didn't find out until we got into the first few days of practice," Sanders said. "Obviously as a coach when I got that phone call I was excited. Anything you can add to your team that can make you better goes a long way. As a coaching staff we were excited and I know the kids were excited."

Hammonds moved to quarterback early in the season and has made an impact offensively. The Gators ended their 15-game losing streak in Carolina 1-A Conference play with a 22-21 win two weeks ago at Hobbton. Hammonds' touchdown pass to Anthony Russo with less than a minute to play and his two-point conversion toss to DeVonte Faison sealed the comeback.

Hammonds finished with 176 yards rushing and a touchdown, and another 106 yards and two TDs passing.

"There were a lot of mixed emotions in that, but they were all good," Hammonds said. "It was pretty exciting to do stuff like that. It is all about taking what the defense gives to me and just taking it and trying to be aggressive with it."

Hammonds' athleticism allows him to make plays with both his arm and his feet in Spring Creek's triple-option offense. That versatility puts stress on a defense and provides opportunities for other Gators to make contributions as well. Hammonds has rushed for 591 yards and three touchdowns while throwing for 368 yards and five scores in seven games.

Receiver Jordan Hicks has benefited from opposing defenses having to account for Hammonds by catching 13 passes for 245 yards and four touchdowns. Russo and Faison have each contributed more than 200 yards rushing.

The area where Hammonds has shown the most growth as a quarterback is in his understanding of the game. His desire to know why a play works a certain way and his ability to translate that knowledge into execution on the field continues to impress Sanders.

"With each snap Tre gets a little better," Sanders said. "He is understanding more of the defensive schemes and understanding why his reads are what they are. He really cares about why he's being asked to do certain things and what makes those work."