Athlete of the Issue: CJ McMullen

Bella Sandoval, Staff Writer

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Senior CJ McMullen is a double-sport athlete who competes in both football and shot put. McMullen plans on furthering his athletic excellence in shot put at Northern Arizona University. McMullen helped the Indians’ achievements as a key member of this year’s team. Thanks in part to his skills as a starting defensive player, the Indians received second place overall in the Foothill League.

“I do track and field here at Hart and it didn’t have much effect on my love for [football], it just made me have to work harder when football season came around,” said McMullen.

Among his teammates, McMullen is one of the most of athletic players on the team.

“CJ McMullen, or “McFumblea�� as my teammates and I call him, is one of the most gifted football players I have ever met. I remember first freshman football practice seeing him, and he was already 6″2 and the fastest guy on the team. I just remember saying man, I’m glad he is on my team…well, that day I did, until I realized I’d have to tackle that guy the rest of the year during running back drills fast forward 4 years and he is the best defensive end in Hart high history,” said teammate JT Shrout.

Hart’s defensive end McMullen had 42 sacks this season, which broke George Kase’s 1991 record of 37 sacks. McMullen also set a single-season sack record of 24 sacks, which was previously 19, also held by Kase. Additionally, McMullen broke the single-game sack record, seven, the previous record was six sacks held by Ryan Hourigan in 1993.

“My most memorable moment was definitely the Sierra Canyon game where I broke all 3 of Hart’s sack records,” McMullen said.

During McMullen’s 17-18 school season, he started a total of 11 games. He had a total of 41 unassisted tackles, 35 assisted tackles, and five total tackles for loss. McMullen has also been a three time “Player of the Week” throughout his Hart football varsity career. He also ended the regular season leading as the California Foothill High School Stat Leaders. McMullen has been a varsity player from 15-18. Along with many of McMullen’s accomplishments, he was also nominated for the SoCal Prep Legends Boys Athlete of the Week.

McMullen first started his football journey with the Santa Clarita Valley Warriors and now is a four year football player; he spent one year on freshman where he was tight end and three years on varsity, where he played defensive end. Even after eleven years of football, he is still growing as a player and the sport teaches him things that apply on and off the field.

“Football has taught me that nothing comes to you without hard work and dedication,” McMullen said.

Football has always been a big part of McMullen’s life. He grew up both playing and watching the sport and always enjoying it.

“I grew up watching the chargers and my favorite player was Ladainian Tomlinson and he and that team are where my love for football came from,” McMullen said.

Both on and off the field McMullen, has been a very loved and appreciated player among his teammates.

“CJ has dominated on the football field this year and kept a smile on his face while doing it. We could always count on him to make us laugh during practice and to make a big play when we needed it most in a game. He’s the happiest guy I know and his spirit is unparalleled,” said senior Mitch Gordon.

“You would think CJ being the big physical player he is would be a mean scary person, but he is the goofiest and kindest guy I know. He can make anyone laugh at any time and is one of my good friends and I will cherish the memories we have made the last four years for the rest of my life,” Shrout said.

McMullen has been a great addition to Hart football’s “winning tradition” these last four years at Hart and will be missed by the players and coaches tremendously.

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Athlete of the Issue: CJ McMullen