Eagles linebacker puts toppings on sophomore season

Washington middle linebacker Jake Hull has become a leader on the Eagles defense. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Whether it’s making plays or making pies, Jake Hull always gives it his all.

Hull is a sophomore at George Washington High School, and when he’s not representing the Eagles, he’s working at Pizza City, where he spends evenings making the product the restaurant is known for.

“I’ve done it all, you have to work your way up to pizza,” Hull said. “It’s my family’s place, so I work there when I can. It’s a great job. I go in at 4 and I look up and it’s 9:30. You get really busy so it goes fast.

“I love doing it. I’ve done everything, but making pizza is my favorite thing to do. It’s not hard, but it’s a challenge until you learn how to do it. Then you just have to do it, pay attention and make sure it’s good.”

When he’s not pounding dough, he’s beating people up on the football field.

The Morrell Park native, after attending Bishop McDevitt as a freshman, came to Washington at the start of the school year, so when his friends were popping pads in the fall, he was on the sidelines.

That was hard, but Hull didn’t sit around, waiting to play.

He hit the weight room with his best friend and Washington quarterback Kyle Schumann, whom he played with at Liberty Bell growing up.

The pair reconnected and immediately hit the weights hard.

They have more in common than just being friends from Liberty Bell.

They both play quarterback, although Hull will freely admit his pal is the starter. They both love to work out, and more than anything, the pair likes to win.

“We have the same attitude, just get in and work,” Hull said. “He’s a great quarterback. I like playing quarterback if I’m needed, but he’s a quarterback. I’m the utility guy. I’ll play tight end, fullback, receiver. If we need a lineman, I’ll happily play there. If we need a quarterback, I’ll do it, but he’s the quarterback. I’m there in case.”

This year, both are starting linebackers as well, and together along with the other nine starters, have built something special.

In its first two games, the Washington defense surrendered no points. Two shutouts, including a tough goal line stand, highlighted the perfect start.

Hull, who lines up at middle linebacker, has been a huge reason for the defensive success, but he refuses to acknowledge it. He says it takes 11 guys to create a shutdown defense and he wants everyone to take a bow.

“This team is pretty good because we have great coaching and everyone has bought in,” Hull said. “It’s pretty great how everyone has bought in. And it’s a really young team. So we’re playing for this year, but we’re playing for next year, too, because there are so many juniors and sophomores.

“We do have good seniors, too. Not a lot, but we have seniors who are great leaders and are teaching us. We want to go far this year for them. Win this year and it will help us in the future, and it will be good for them.”

Hull knew when he arrived at Washington, he would do whatever it took to get on the field, but he couldn’t anticipate how quickly he would become one of the boys.

He knew being friends with the quarterback who started as a freshman and led the Eagles to a strong season in 2019 would be a good ice breaker, but even he’s surprised how quickly the team came together.

“I love this team, I think they saw that I was willing to put in the work, but even Kyle said when I got here, this is a great team,” Hull said. “So I was really happy about coming here, but it’s better than I thought. Washington is a great school. We didn’t have a lot of opportunities to get together, especially in the fall, but now we’re really close.”

Hull is happy where they’re at, but he’s far from satisfied.

And he’s doing what he can to make sure the quick start leads to a big season.

Hull enjoys being a jack of all trades on offense, and he’s happy that he’s growing into the role of team leader on defense.

Lifting, running and practicing will make him a better player, but he’s also doing his homework when the exercising is over.

“I’m a student of the game, I’m trying to learn as much as possible,” Hull said. “I always try to be as prepared as possible. I’m working on that. I love watching film and learning things. I want to know what’s going to happen before it happens. That really helps you.”

And any edge he can get, he’ll take.

“Washington is an up-and-coming football team and I’m glad I’m a part of it,” Hull said. “Our defense is playing well, and our offense is getting better.

“I was upset when other people were playing and we weren’t, but now we’re getting our chance. I want to have a great spring, then be smart, get my body right and be ready for the fall. I’m just getting after it.

“I really appreciate my teammates making everyone better. It’s really important we make each other better. Get on the field and give it all you got. Anyone on the field. Everyone at practice works to make everyone else better. We all want the other guy to be better. That’s how you get better as a team.”