VALENCIA: Huddleston tree has deep roots in Woodland

Paul Valencia: High School Sports

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

 

Huddleston with the touchdown reception.

Huddleston with the touchdown pass.

There's Huddleston, with the perfect drive, right down the middle.

And Huddleston with the birdie.

Huh? How many Huddlestons we talking about here?

Well, there's more.

There's Huddleston making the schedule.

There's Huddleston in the hall of fame.

The Woodland community can tell them all apart. It's the rest of us who can get a little confused.

A couple weeks ago, Trevor Huddleston caught a long pass in a football game. The Columbian gave the catch to Tanner Huddleston.

Close enough, right? Well, not exactly. Tanner Huddleston plays golf. It's doubtful he caught a 41-yard pitch shot on a Friday night under the lights.

When our guys at the office hear Huddleston from Woodland, it is easy to get confused.

Hunter, a junior, and Trevor, a sophomore, are brothers. In the fall, they play football for the Beavers.

Tanner, a junior, and Hayden, a freshman, are brothers. In the fall, they play golf for the Beavers.

Paul Huddleston is the school's athletic director. He is the father of Tanner and Hayden, and the uncle of Hunter and Trevor. Got it?

This is too fun to stop now.

Paul's mom and dad, Karen and Ron, the boys' grandparents, went to Woodland High School. Ron would become the vice principal and athletic director at the school. He is in Woodland's athletic hall of fame. And Ed Huddleston, the boys' great grandfather, also is a Woodland graduate.

There are so many that people just assume any Huddleston is part of the family.

"Isn't there a Huddleston from La Center, too?" Trevor asked, referring to football player Jared Huddleston.

"No relation," Hunter answered.

If you think this is tough to follow in the fall, try winter and spring.

Tanner is one of the top returning basketball players in the region. Hunter is expected to return to the court after taking a year away from hoops. Hayden, the freshman, is planning to play basketball, too.

All four play baseball in the spring. Last year, Trevor, Hunter, and Tanner were on the varsity team. Hayden does not anticipate making varsity this spring, but if he makes varsity as a sophomore next school year, then all four will be on the field at the same time.

We can just hear the coach calling in the boxscore now: Huddleston 1-for-3 with a double. Huddleston 2-3 with two stolen bases. Huddleston 3-3 with a home run. Huddleston 2-4 with two doubles.

Paul Huddleston said he "gets it all the time," coaches and athletic directors asking about the family story.

"Mainly people from other schools," Tanner said. "Everyone around here knows us."

"It's pretty cool having all of us Huddlestons as athletes and my dad as the AD," Hayden said.

One thing Paul tries to avoid is meddling too much into the school lives of his relatives. As a dad, he can ask questions at home.

"I was the son of an administrator. I know what it's like," Paul said.

As journalists are concerned, at least the names easy to spell. Tanner is Tanner and not Tannyr.

Oh, wait, there is a Tannyr who plays football at Woodland. Tannyr Knight.

The Huddlestons had a little something to do with that.

The story goes that the Huddlestons were expecting their son at the same time their good friends were expecting their son. Both sets of parents wanted to name their sons Tanner. The Knight family decided to go with Tannyr, so the two boys could have different spellings.

So if we ever report Tannyr Huddleston with a hole in one at the district golf championship, you will know we really messed up. Wrong Tannyr. Wrong sport.

But one really fun family story to write about from Woodland.

Paul Valencia covers high school sports for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4557 or e-mail at paul.valencia@columbian.com.