Kinder vs. Iowa

Kinder's Hayes Fawcett (2) gets away from the hold of Iowa's Payton Aguillard (73) during the 1st quarter of their game at Iowa High School, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. 

Hayes Fawcett first made it to the Superdome as a ball boy for the Kinder Yellow Jackets when they made three straight trips to the Class 2A championship game from 2013-15, winning a pair of state titles.

Now a senior quarterback, Fawcett is hoping to play in the Dome.

The Jackets have lost in the quarterfinal and regional round of the playoffs the past two seasons, but with a roster full of experienced players, they have their eye on a return trip to New Orleans.

Fawcett is entering his third season as the starting quarterback. Last season he threw for 1,180 yards and ran for 433, accounting for 19 total touchdowns.

"I have grown tremendously," he said. "My sophomore year I was out there getting experience, still trying to learn the offense a bit more. As time went on, the offense became like second nature to me. I know where everyone is going to be, I can see the play develop before it happens. I'm not thinking any more like I was as a sophomore. Now I can go out there and just play."

Fawcett said his strengths are using brains and brawn.

"My toughness is one of my strengths, I am willing to put my head down and fight for extra yards," he said. "My IQ for the game has improved, especially with (assistant coach Justin) Reed coming in this year and helping with my pre-snap reads. My arm has improved, I feel like I can make every throw."

Playing as a signal caller since he started playing football at the age of seven, Fawcett doesn't shy from the responsibility that comes with the position.

"I love how when you win, it is all on you and when you lose, it is all on you," he said. "I love that pressure. I live for it."

Fawcett has been able to share the field with his brothers Conner and Brooks

"My freshman year I played a little bit," he said 
"The first play I was put in was a pass to my older brother, Conner, for a 36-yard gain, almost a touchdown. That's something I will always remember."

Brooks created another special memory in the spring, when the Fawcetts helped the Yellow Jackets win the Class 2A state title in baseball. In the championship game, Hayes caught while younger brother Brook was the winning pitcher in relief.

"It is amazing, we grew up playing together in the yard," Hayes said. 
"Now, to be in the real games and have these experiences together, it is something I will never forget. The baseball game was amazing, he always wanted to throw when he was little and I would catch for him. Neither of us knew he was going to pitch in the championship game, but when we got the lead I knew we would win because he was pitching great."

Fawcett said the Jackets have the pieces in place to make a run at the football title.

"We're like a family, we've been playing together since we were 6 or 7," he said. "We play for each other and are not selfish. We have 16 returning starters. Skylar Leckelt is a playmaker at slot on offense and safety on defense. He always makes something happen. We have Bryce Savant on the defensive line, he has been working hard and I have seen big growth in him. Ty Fuselier, our running back, helped us out a lot after he came back from an injury. He is big and powerful and we lean on the running game a lot. He is a horse. Trevor Cole is a receiver and safety, he is going to be good this year as well."

Fawcett knows the road to the Dome is a long one.

"I just want us to be the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be," he said. 
"I want us to be the best practicing team. If we can do that all of the other little things will add up and we can get some major results out of that."

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