Spotlight Athlete: Hunter Babb

Hunter Babb of Caruthers looks for running room during recent game. He’s leading the state in rushing and scoring late in the regular season, but record-breaking totals likely (as usual) depend on team success in the playoffs. Photo: @andres.shotthat / Instagram.

Uncommitted 2024 RB/ATH Hunter Babb has established himself as one of the most dynamic running backs in the CIF Central Section and for the state’s small schools during his high school football career at Caruthers High. Here’s a different way we normally present stories about a top athlete. We may do more of these in the future. It’s a Q&A format, but it reveals a lot to know about a dynamic player.

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Entering the games of Thursday, Oct. 19 through Saturday Oct. 21, the state’s leading rusher according to MaxPreps is senior Hunter Babb from Caruthers in the CIF Central Section. But wait, there’s more. Hunter also is the state leader for scoring. After he had 14 carries for 262 yards and three touchdowns last week in a 44-7 win against Yosemite of Oakhurst, Babb has 2,356 yards rushing and has 34 TDs (212 pts) scoring. He recently had a three-game stretch in which he scored six TDs in all three games and had 364, 440 and 331 yards rushing.

Babb and the Blue Raiders have compiled a 6-2 overall record and 5-0 in the Northwest Sequoia League and they will battle Chowchilla (6-2, 5-0) for league supremacy in an away game on Friday, Oct. 20.

Babb recently talked to Cal-Hi Sports about Caruthers High, memorable football moments, what makes Central Valley football players special, toughest opponent, overcoming challenges, future college, correctional officer or detective, science, Christian McCaffrey, 42 Dugg, “Rick and Morty,” “The Outsiders” and massive eating.

Name: Hunter Babb

For being a small town hero, life must be pretty good these days for Caruthers’ Hunter Babb. Photo:

Hometown: Caruthers, CA

High School: Caruthers High

Graduation Year: 2024

Height, Weight: 5-foot-8, 175

Positions: RB/ATH

Nickname: “4 Stroke.” My uncle, Josh Babb, gave me the nickname. He said I’m like a 4-stroke engine cause I keep on running.

Twitter (X): @hunter_babb4

Career High School Stats (so far): Rushing — 23 games, 426 carries, 4,390 yards, 10.3 AVG, 190.9 YPG, 64 TDS; Receiving — 23 games, 21 receptions, 501 yards, 23.9 AVG, 21.8 YPG, 5 TDs; Passing — 23 games, 5 of 15, 94 yards, 4 TDs, 3 INTs.

Tell us about your high school team and how you became involved?
Our team is like another family we have. We all hang out inside and outside of school and I’ve grown to treat them like my own bloodline. I’d go to war for them.

Tell us how your team is doing?
We started the season slow, but we’ve definitely gotten better as a group and use our same goal every week, which is to go 1-0 to keep us mentally ready for anything that comes our way.

What has been your most memorable football moment?
A memorable football moment for me was last season during playoffs when we got challenged to play multiple teams from the CMAC and surprised people with our victories over them.

Hunter Babb (4) and his teammates from Caruthers celebrate after scoring a touchdown. Photo: Gabe Camarillo.

What makes players from Central Valley in California special/different?
To me, I feel as if we are underdogs compared to others, so it drives us to work even harder to better ourselves.

Which player/team has been your toughest opponent and why?
Our first game this season vs. Coalinga, because we’ve played them before so I feel like they keyed on me a little more. Especially, #44 (Bransen Peters), who made majority of his tackles on me.

What have you faced/overcome in life that has made you the person you are today?
Growing up, I’ve overcome moving from place to place not having a stable home. I’ve faced situations with my mother’s addiction and health, which caused me to mature at a younger age and deciding to move to Caruthers and start fresh with other family.

What are you looking for in a future college?
I’m looking for a college that will want to utilize me anywhere needed, because I love the game so much. I would like to play ball at the next level and keep striving to better myself every day wherever I can end up.

What areas are you interested in for future occupations and why?
I want to study criminology and become a correctional officer or work up to be a detective. I’ve considered the Navy if football doesn’t work out. My uncle always tells me I’d be a good detective with how much I see the little details and how I can retain information when I put my mind to it.

What’s your favorite subject to study in school and why?
My favorite school subject is science, because it helps me understand my body and how it works to keep myself as healthy as possible and function to the fullest.

Who is your sports hero and why?
My favorite sports hero is Christian McCaffrey because he is a workhorse and I feel like I have a similar playing style to him. I used to watch his college highlights to see what he does to better my game.

What’s your favorite book to read and why?
My favorite book is “The Shack” by William P. Young, because I like mysteries and it is an interesting story and involves Christianity.

What’s the best hype song and why?
My favorite hype song is “Everybody Shooters Too” by 42 Dugg. It’s my favorite hype song, because the beat gets my adrenaline flowing.

What’s your favorite TV show to binge and why?
The TV show I could binge watch is “Rick and Morty” because it’s a funny show that can never get old to me.

What’s your favorite movie and why?
My favorite movie is “The Outsiders,” because I like older movies and could watch it every day.

Do you have a secret talent/skill?
My hidden talent is that I can eat a lot of food … more than people would think. I can also be a jokester sometimes and make people laugh.

Carlos Arias has been a contributor to Cal-Hi Sports in recent years for softball and will be doing free-lance work in the future for softball and with special features like this one. He also has worked for national organizations like ExtraInningSoftball and was a prep sports writer for 10 years with the Orange County Register. The web site he is currently working on is his own Follow Carlos on Twitter @los_stuff.

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One Comment

  1. Janice Angell
    Posted October 19, 2023 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Hunter is my Grandson And I am so Proud of him. He has went through a lot of hard times in his life. He is a tough young man I love you HUNTER

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