Huggins happy for the opportunity to compete in college sports; thankful for small-town beginning in Macksville

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Backed by Macksville coaches and seated with his grandparents, Cleven Huggins, Macksville High School senior athlete, signs a letter of intent to play football and run track at Highlands Community College this fall.

When the call came for Macksville senior Cleven Huggins from a college recruiter, he couldn't have been happier to be offered an opportunity to play sports at the next level. Surrounded by friends, family and coaches, Huggins signed a letter of intent Friday to play football and run track at Highlands Community College.

"A coach from Highlands actually contacted my coach while we were traveling to a football game in the fall," Huggins said. "I was so happy to get the news that they were interested in me. It felt good. I was so relieved that I could actually have a chance to go on and do what I want."

Huggins, a talented athlete, garnered all-league and all-district Tight End and Receiver Offensive honors in his junior year at Macksville.  In his senior year he not only received 1st team all-league and all-district honors for both offense as wide receiver and defense as a back, he also earned all-state honors and was asked to play in the 8-Man All Star game this summer in Beloit. As an offensive specialist for the Mustangs, Huggins finished with 853 total receiving yards, 20.8 ypc; 11 touchdowns, 102 total rushing yards, 4.4 ypc. 

And Huggins can also run. He was a track and field standout during his only season as a sophomore, finishing as the Central Plains League runner-up in the 110H, 300IH and 4X100m. Huggins ran his inaugural state race placing 11th in the 300 intermediate hurdles and was also the second leg of the 2019 state qualifying 4x400 team, which placed 13th.

While he has gotten more comfortable in track and will compete his senior year as well as at Highland Community College, Huggins said his ultimate goal is to play D-1 football.

"I'm hoping after two years at Highland I will get some offers," Huggins said. "I'm really looking forward to playing in the all-star game. I am so happy to make this official."

Huggins did have other college sports offers to consider, with interest from NAIA schools Bethany and Sterling, but he chose HCC because he said he felt it could put him in a better position to achieve his future goals.

Huggins is the grandson of Robert and Debbie Hogan, Macksville and has lived most of his life with them, attending Mackville schools.