Huntingdon Hawks’ future duo look to put on a show

Huntingdon Hawks’ future duo look to put on a show


Huntingdon Hawks’ future duo look to put on a show


Huntingdon Hawks fans will get a glimpse of their team’s future tonight during the AHSAA North-South All-Star Football Game at Cramton Bowl.

Linebackers Jacob Hamilton of Russellville and Ke’Vontae Hayes of Decatur look to anchor the North All-Stars defense as they play their final high school game.

Hamilton and Hayes were roommates during their week in Montgomery, and both say they hope this week is a prelude to the next four years.

“Ke’Vontae is definitely someone I want to play with,” Hamilton said. “Watching him in practice, I know he’s going to make me a better player. He’s a very intelligent player and I can’t wait to go war with him.”

Hayes said it didn’t take him very long to realize that Hamilton will one day be joining him in tackling ball carriers at Huntingdon.

“The first day (Hamilton) walked into orientation, he saw me and yelled ‘Hawk ‘Em!’,” Hayes said. “We’re really excited to be playing together and playing for great school here in Montgomery.”

Hamilton didn’t always play linebacker. During his freshman and sophomore seasons at Paul Campbell High School, he played quarterback in hopes of making it his permanent position. Prior to his junior year at Russellville, the coaches thought a change was in order.

“I was coming from a very small school,” Hamilton said. “When I got to Russellville, I had trouble with the speed of the defenses. My coaches saw that I had the size to play linebacker, so they asked me to try it out.”

Hamilton adjusted very well to the defensive side of the ball. He led the Golden Tigers with 128 tackles last season, including a career-high 20 against Lawrence County.

“The mentality is totally different when you’re on defense,” Hamilton said. “It’s better to be the hitter than trying not to get hit.”

Hayes is a two-time All-State honorable mention selection for Decatur. He finished with 113 tackles and four sacks in 2014, helping to lead the Red Raiders to the Class 6A state quarterfinals. Hayes said the recruitment from Hawks assistant coach Ben Fox drew him to sign with Huntingdon.

“Coach Fox called me every day to ask how I was doing,” Hayes said. “Huntingdon is a school where you feel wanted. You don’t want to go to school just anywhere.”

Hayes know all about the atmosphere of Cramton Bowl for an All-Star game. His younger brother, Tae, started for Alabama in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game back in December, won by Alabama on the game’s final play.

Hayes said he’s hoping the North can end the game by halftime, but also said it will be a special night for him.

“It’s going to be pretty fun playing at Cramton Bowl,” Hayes said. “There are plenty of guys I’ve played against but will be my teammates (tonight). It’s great to be around the best athletes from all over.”

Along with another linebacker and South All-Star Cameron Compton of Wetumpka, the North duo looks to help make the Hawks defense ferocious for years to come. Friday night, it’s all about leaving high school football with a win.

“It’s going to be very competitive,” Hamilton said. “Obviously, we’re going to try and hope to win. The main thing is how great this experience will be.”


More USA TODAY High School Sports