HARTSHORNE — Hartshorne senior Dylan Pingleton wasn’t automatically given the position of starting quarterback this season. Pingleton only came in at quarterback in key situations last season, and he entered the 2013 preseason in an open competition for the spot.
But as early as the Miners’ first scrimmage in August, coach Bill Williams knew Pingleton was the right man for the job.
“He just made it a point that he was going to be the guy, and we could see it on film,” Williams said of Pingleton on Wednesday.
“He willed it to happen, and he’s done some great things. He wanted it so bad, he wasn’t going to let anybody take his job.”
Though born in Talihina, Pingleton has always lived Hartshorne. He said as a boy he and his father Rick, a former Haileyville Warrior, would frequently attend Butler-Jennings Field on Friday nights to watch the Miners.
Pingleton started playing football with the Little Miners in third grade.
“My best memory that year would be our first win, when we beat Quinton,” Pingleton said. “I think it was 24-0. When you win your first football game, that’s pretty fun.”
Other than two years spent as a receiver in junior high, Pingleton said he’d always been a quarterback before he joined the high school team. He got into his first varsity game as a punter — a position he still holds — against Heavener his sophomore year.
“My first punt, I came in the game, and I think we were about on the 50 (yard line),” Pingleton said. “I punted it all the way down to the 1, and that felt pretty good.”
Pingleton said he likes being quarterback because it means he’s always part of the action. The position challenges him to be someone on which the rest of the team can rely, even when he’s handing the ball off to one of the Miners’ talented running backs.