Star of Stars Boys 2021 Athlete of the Year: Chris Hilton Jr. took advantage of his chance to play | High school sports
It was common to wonder what high school athletes have lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chris Hilton Jr. took the opposite approach.
“I’m glad we got to play. All we wanted to do was play, ”the Zachary High star said. “This year has been difficult. When the spring season was closed last year, our reality changed.
“There was no guarantee that this year would happen. I worked a lot on my own… doing exercises and running courses. Every day I thought, “I want to play”. “
Hilton and other local athletes were able to play. He competed at a high level in two sports. The LSU football signatory has been selected as the 2020-21 Male Athlete of the Year by The Advocate. He is also the All-Star for athletics.
The Stars event is important to Hilton, her school and her family. A former Zachary teammate, Memphis quarterback / baseball player Keilon Brown, won the award in 2019. Hilton’s dad, Chris Sr., was the All-Star for the track in 1989 for Baker High.
Hilton knew there was no guarantee that the storybooks would end. His football season was cut short by COVID-19 contact tracing. Hilton still had 25 catches for 417 yards and five touchdowns, winning all-state and All-Metro Class 5A honors for a quarterfinal team.
Hilton helped the Broncos win the Division I indoor title and clinch a second place finish in Class 5A. His jump of 7 feet, ¼ inch in the high jump ranks nationally. He also won the 400 meters indoors and outdoors with a best time of 47.50 seconds.
“I would say my confidence has improved throughout the season,” said Hilton. “As I gained more confidence I think I was able to play at a higher level than I had been.
“Once the (football) season started and you had a game you had to make sure you made it count because there was no promise of a next one. I have kept this in mind.
Zachary’s football coach David Brewerton, meanwhile, is proud of Hilton’s accomplishments as a two-sport athlete.
“The track was good for him. I think at first he did it because he was athletic, ”said Brewerton. “But he got into all aspects, especially in the individual competition.
“It translated into and made him better in football and overall. There was pressure (on him). I am happy and grateful that during his career he has lived up to people’s expectations.