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Puyallup’s love of football: Catching up with the Huard brothers

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People in Puyallup love football. The high schools have heated rivalries, and the Puyallup High Vikings have a storied history of excellence.

Sparks Stadium is named after coach Carl Sparks, who put the program on the map in the 40’s and 50’s.

But you can’t talk about Puyallup football without mentioning the Huard brothers.

Damon and Brock played for their dad, Coach Mike Huard, in the 90’s and went on to have success at the University of Washington and into the pros.

The two clearly have the gift of gab. Brock cohosts a local radio show in Seattle, and works as a color commentator on national college games for ESPN.

Damon is the color commentator for Washington Husky broadcasts.

They both have plenty to say about growing up in Puyallup.

“Friday night lights, Sparks Stadium, Sparks deli, Hogans Market,” Damon said, naming a few of his favorite things.

“Hogan’s Market, that’s long gone,” replied Brock. “How about cruising the strip from Burger King all the way to Meridian?”

“How about the worst traffic in Western Washington,” said Damon, and both laughed. “As busy as it is, it still has a sense of community.”

It’s a community that has followed every success of the Huards, as each went on to play quarterback at the University of Washington, and onto the NFL. But when they get back to Puyallup, one question dominates all others.

“No matter where you go the number one question that’s always asked is about my dad,” said Brock.

Mike Huard was the legendary coach of the Puyallup Viking for decades. He took the team to several state championship games and cultivated a culture of winning that permeated Puyallup, and sent many players to the next level.

“It was kind of like a pipeline to the University of Washington at that time,” said Damon. “When you think of three starting quarterbacks with me and Brock and Billy Joe Hobert, but then the long list of players like Tom Gallagher, joe Kralik, Dane Looker, Todd Elstrom. These are not just guys who went to U-Dub, but played, starred, and won Rose Bowls, and were huge contributors.”

Younger brother Luke Huard also starred at Puyallup High, and is now a coach at Sacramento state.

The Huard Brothers say their mom and dad now live a quiet, retired life, and still in Puyallup, the town that helped make them what they are.

Said Damon: “It’s not far from the action, not far from Tacoma or Seattle. But it feels like the countryside still. In some ways, even with all of the traffic and new buildings and restaurants, and a bigger population and new high schools, it’s still Puyallup.”

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