EVELETH — Lucas “Moose’’ Hultman’s size is obviously one of the Eveleth-Gilbert’s biggest attributes.
His best attribute, though, may be his leadership abilities with all of his teammates.
“He has definitely become a leader. He looks out for those younger kids. He wants to see them succeed. He’ll stop, he’ll help them,’’ said assistant coach Sean Streier. “He wants to see the younger kids succeed.’’
Head coach Derek Malner said the E-G senior lineman leads by example and is showing his teammates what has to be done and that he is there for them.
Malner added that Hultman impressed him in a phone call two weeks ago when he was letting the players know he would be back from his military deployment to Afghanistan soon. The specific impression came when Malner asked him what his individual and collective goals were for the season.
Hultman’s individual goal was to ensure his fellow linemen knew their assignments on every play.
“He took that to heart. He took great pride in that,’’ Malner said. “He holds them accountable. He holds them up to that standard.’’
Hultman’s collective goal was to experience enough success this season to host a home playoff game. “That impressed me. It showed a level of maturity and leadership,’’ Malner added.
In addition to his leadership abilities, Hultman listens to everything all of his coaches tell him and uses it during games.
“Every time they teach me something I just take it,’’ “Moose’’ said. During games on Friday nights, he often says to himself, “What would the coaches do? It helps a lot.’’
Regarding how Hultman got the nickname “Moose,’’ the answer is fairly simple.
Hultman — who has always been a bigger person — said his hockey teammate Gage Everson gave it to him back in sixth grade.
“I’ve had it for quite a while. All the teachers call me that and I put it on all my papers in school,’’ he said at practice Thursday. “I was a big fella growing up. I got it one day at hockey practice actually in the locker room and it just stuck ever since.’’
His size certainly paid dividends nine days ago when he helped lead the Golden Bears past Virginia, 27-24, for the Highway 53 Trophy.
Why is Hultman such a good offensive guard and defensive tackle?
“I’ve always heard you can’t teach size,’’ he said. “So I guess my size kind of helps me when I’m going against other people.’’
Hultman has also put in extra time with lifting weights, attending camps and being a three-sport athlete. He also participates in hockey and track, but football is clearly his favorite.
“This is the best sport in the world. ... I enjoy every minute of it,’’ he said. “I just like hitting kids. I just like going out and smacking the pads on Friday night’’ with parents and fans support the him and the Bears.
Hultman also strongly believes in being a three-sport athlete.
“It’s good experience being with other teams’’ and not taking a season off. “It also helps you be in condition. Staying active through the offseason, because the offseason is just as important as the season.’’
Hultman has definitely improved in his years in the program.
“He’s become more physical. We worked on him for a while. Just telling him to use his body. You have that asset, use it.’’ Streier said. “This past offseason he committed and he lifted a lot. I know he worked with one of our old alumni who’s playing at St. Scholastica with some drills and conditioning.’’
Hultman has developed into “an aggressive, passionate football player that is a good leader,’’ Malner said. “He’s family oriented. He treats the guys like he’s their brother. ‘Moose’ is a good young man. He’s going to do good things.’’
Hultman credited all of his coaches along the way.
In seventh and eight grade, assistant coach Dan Berry “really liked me as a lineman,’’ Hultman said. “He taught me everything I know,’’ along with assistant coaches Jake Fallos and Mark Muhich.
“Every one of them has helped me through my journey in high school,’’ he said of all the entire staff. “I just appreciate every one of them. They’re coaching is just unbelievable.’’
The senior Golden Bear is hoping to close out 2019 strong.
“I’m looking forward to these next three games because I really want to have a home playoff game. If we have success in these next three games, we’ll lock up a high enough seed to have a home playoff game. One more game at More Stadium that would be awesome.’’