There’s an old saying, “What you see is what you get.”
That old saying, however, doesn’t exactly apply for Elysian Fields junior linebacker and safety Chris Haigh.
“I’ve nicknamed him ‘Wolverine,’ because he turns into a different human being,” Elysian Fields athletic director and head football coach Scott Ford said of Haigh.
“I feel more aggressive when I’m on the field,” Haigh said.
“You see how polite he is but on the field, he’s not like that,” Ford added. “You get a whole different person who emerges. The first time we saw him, we were like, ‘Who’s that kid?’ In fact, he’s so quiet and has never, ever complained about anything, I think it took him a little longer to get his shot because of that but once he got his shot, he didn’t give it back.”
Haigh doesn’t say much vocally. Instead, he lets his game do the talking and this season, he has said a lot with his 76 tackles, three tackles for a loss, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. In the Yellow Jackets game against Harleton, Haigh recorded 22 tackles.
“Chris is a straight-A student,” Ford said. “He’s the most polite and respectful young man you could run across but when he steps between the lines, he plays the game 100 miles an hour and he plays it hard and clean and he gets the most out of what God gave him. At the end of the day, that’s all you can ask of any kid – to get the most out of what you’ve been blessed with and he does that. I think he’s symbolic of our entire team.”
The team itself owns an overall record of 11-2 after going 6-0 against 11-3A Division II opponents to earn a district championship. The Yellow Jackets are now in the quarterfinals where they’ll go up against Harrison County rivals Waskom Wildcats in a district rematch. The Yellow Jackets came away with the 28-21 victory when the teams met on Oct. 30.
“Just working together and dong what the coaches have planned for us,” Haigh said when asked what the key is to getting a win over the Wildcats. “I hope we make it to state. I think the seniors deserve it.”
“One thing we’ve talked about is following the plan,” Ford said. “Most teams that get off the course don’t follow the plan. It’s not listening to your mom, dad or your girlfriend, it’s listening to the guys in the fieldhouse and this team has made the choice to do that. Everyone has an opinion on social media and the kids are always now exposed to it. They’ve got to make decisions and take responsibility, or they don’t have to and then they don’t have a successful season.”
“We’re all working well together,” Haigh said when asked about team chemistry. “There haven’t been any fights at all.”
Tonight’s quarterfinal matchup between Elysian Fields and Waskom is slated for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Lobo Stadium in Longview.