HS Football Preview: Hayfield looks to championship pedigree in other sports for inspiration

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(ABC 6 News) — The Hayfield High School athletic program has had so much success in baseball, basketball, softball and bowling, but not much is heard about the football team.

The team went 2-7 last season, but with new energy, they’re hoping for an improvement. It’s all part of a push to set a new identity for Hayfield football with Derrick Thompson, the Vikings’ new head coach.

"Football hasn’t always been our best sport and we’re just trying to change that," said Vikings quarterback Ethan Pack. "We see basketball and football winning state and of course, we want to do that for football too but we have to start somewhere where we can win some games and go from there."

Thompson comes in from St. Charles and while he’s aware of the reputation of Hayfield football, he still holds his team to the same expectations as that of a championship program.

"I’m going to hold them to those expectations. I’m trying to get them all to do their jobs and doing their own jobs, it’s going to bring success."

The team feels their defense is what is going to be the big x-factor for the season. One of the captains of that unit is defensive end Zander Jacobson, another one of the stars of the championship basketball team.

When asked about what tools from the hardwood he can apply to the turf, Jacobson noted, "physicality. I’m a physical person. I like football. I like basketball. Just bringing the ball down low and hammering down in there. I feel like that relates to football and trying to get the ball."

Thompson says the Vikings offense will focus on the run more this season but everything will flow through quarterback Ethan Pack, another standout from the championship basketball teams.

"On the basketball court, I would say I’m probably one of the leaders of the team so of course, I bring that to the football team," Pack stated. "I try to show them what the right way is and how to act. Personally, I just want to help the team win, and if that’s by me running or passing… I mean either one is fine."

The Hayfield community is known for its unwavering support of the athletic program so expect the stands to be packed for football games, no matter the score on the scoreboard or the team’s record.

The Vikings open the season on the road on September 2 against blooming prairie. Their first home game will be the following Friday against Bethlehem Academy.