HIGHLAND — For eight straight years, Howard Hannemann’s fall Friday nights have revolved around Lone Peak football.
Starting with his oldest son Jacob in 2009 and continuing to his youngest son Ammon this season, there have been five Hannemann brothers play for Lone Peak over the past eight seasons — at least one on the team every year.
“Hannemann has been a pretty important name here at Lone Peak, just a great family,” said Lone Peak coach Mike Mower. “They’ve helped set the standard they really have. They’ve raised the bar for others to follow. You bet they’ve been a big part of it.”
The Hannemann legacy comes to a close this Friday when Ammon takes the field against Bingham in the 5A championship game at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Like his brothers before him, the BYU commit is a key cog in everything the Knights do defensively. He ranks fourth on the team in tackles with 63 and has two interceptions.
For six years before he started playing varsity football, Ammon Hannemann watched his four older brothers, Jacob, Kyle, Micah and Seth, all star for Lone Peak.
One of his fondest memories is watching Micah help lead the Knights to the 5A state title back in 2011.
“I just remember sitting at Rice-Eccles watching the game with my friends when we were in eight grade, and we said, ‘Guys, when we’re seniors, we’re going to be here and we’re going to take state.”
Ammon and his friends are one victory away from realizing their dreams.
Regardless of the outcome, the Hannemann name will be intertwined into the legacy of Lone Peak High School for years to come — and that extends beyond the football field. Their legacy is just as much about teriyaki chicken as it is football.
Starting with the last couple games of the 2009 season when Jacob was a senior, Howard Hannemann has cooked teriyaki chicken and rice for the football team after every home game. He’s had plenty of help through the years, but he’s been the mastermind of the long-standing tradition.
Over the past eight years, Howard Hannemann arrived at Lone Peak’s stadium around 3 p.m. and started setting up his grilling station near the south end zone. Over the next five hours he’d grill 120 pounds of chicken and cook 50 pounds of rice. Usually by halftime, the grilling was done.
“Every time we’re warming up, you smell the teriyaki chicken,” said Ammon.
His dad always jokingly said he’d feed the other team if Lone Peak lost — which rarely happened at home anyway.
Sione Taufa was instrumental in helping start the tradition with Howard and Mindy Hannemann back in 2009, and this year Dan Norman and Dee Corry had a big hand in the lengthy process of cooking for a small army every other Friday night.
“It’s all about honoring them. As parents, we can’t do much other than cooking for you and feeding you. And it’s been nice because after the game, everybody sticks around, family and players and everybody is talking and visiting. It’s been nice,” said Howard.
The chefs always make sure to feed the police officers and paramedics at the game, and lately they’ve been cooking enough to feed the cheerleaders as well — Howard’s daughter Shay is a sophomore cheerleader this year.
Shay’s presence is why Howard will likely keep grilling next year even though he won’t have anymore sons on the team. With a daughter on Lone Peak’s cheer squad, he’ll be at the games anyway, and he wants to see the legacy continue.
“It just started expanding and getting bigger as the kids kept on winning. It’s been a fun tradition. I’m probably going to still do it,” he said.
If Lone Peak can somehow flip the script and beat Bingham in this Friday’s championship game after losing to the Miners in Week 3, perhaps the Hannemann family will cook up a special celebratory batch of teriyaki chicken for the victory party this weekend.