FARMINGTON — Being the younger brother of the quarterback and conquering hero on your school’s most recent state championship team isn’t an easy way to grow up or progress through your football career.

In the case of Mt. Blue’s Christian Whitney, however, that birth order gave a coach and a senior-dominated team a kid who can run, catch, take a beating, and never care who stands in the spotlight.

“He’s a tough kid. He’s a skilled kid. He’s a gamer. He’s one of those kids that you know when the lights come on and the game gets started, he’s going to play his rear end off, every play,” Mt. Blue coach Jim Aylward said. “He doesn’t talk a lot. He doesn’t brag a lot. He’s just is ready to play all the time.”

Whitney is the leading rusher with 387 yards and five touchdowns for Mt. Blue, which moved to 3-1 with consecutive road wins over Lawrence and Hampden and hosts Gardiner on Friday night at Caldwell Field.

He was Hampden’s worst nightmare a week ago, running for 143 yards and three scores and intercepting two passes in the Cougars’ 32-6 triumph.

And yes, Christian is sibling to Jordan. The elder Whitney directed Mt. Blue to a 12-0 season and the Class B championship in 2012. Christian saw significant varsity time as a wide receiver before an injury sidelined him for the playoffs.


“I probably could play quarterback,” Christian said with a smile. “My brother and I always used to throw the ball to each other. Every night we would throw the ball to each other right in the middle of the road, because we lived out in Industry. There was no traffic. My dad would come out with us and throw the ball. Football is a family sport in our house.”

Whitney, the younger, honed his skills as a running back from kindergarten and flag football through eighth grade.

Mt. Blue’s high school program was known at the time as one of the predominant passing teams in the state under Gary Parlin. With room for only one running back a time in the spread offense and a surplus at that position, Parlin shifted Whitney to the slot.

Aylward arrived from Mountain Valley and instituted the Wing-T prior to Whitney’s junior season. After having a year to watch his personnel and evaluate game film, the coach believed his prototype tailback was playing out of position.

“We looked at the kids coming back, and we really did feel Christian was going to be our best north-south runner,” Aylward said. “We thought he would, but until you see it with your own eyes, you’re not sure. I think it was just basically his toughness.”

Alex Gilbert, the incumbent tailback, has thrived in Whitney’s old role, with 308 combined yards rushing and receiving and a team-high eight catches.


Zach Meader (49 carries, 264 yards) provides a third threat for the Cougars, who already welcomed back one of the Pine Tree Conference’s prime aerial combinations in quarterback Ryan Pratt and flanker Nate Pratt-Holt.

“It was a big change for me,” Whitney said. “I was expecting Alex Gilbert to be the running back. Then they just wanted to switch us and try it out, and it’s all working well. It’s my favorite position to play. I love it.”

Whitney says the same of playing cornerback, where the predisposition to leaving his feet and going after the ball learned on that rural backroad comes in oh-so-handy.

“I know how to read the ball,” he said. “I’ve got good peripheral vision. I can tell usually where the ball is coming.”

That’s the closest to self-promotion Whitney gets.

“He doesn’t ask for a lot of credit. He’s a great leader by example. He’s not a rah-rah guy,” Aylward said. “He’s a kid who has skill, but as a coach the thing I like most about him is his heart.”


Yes, it runs in the family, but Christian is leaving his own gutsy, gritty signature with that revered name.

Winning another Gold Ball is the ultimate way to cement that legacy.

“We’ve always talked about we want to go to states senior year,” Whitney said. “We’ve always said it. No one believes us that we can make it there, but I think we can.”

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