Top Junior Putting Up Big Numbers

Tyler Hayes

Junior athlete Tyler Hayes will be one of the top players in Alabama next year.

Thomasville, Ala.--One of the top match ups in the third round of the Alabama High School playoffs will take place this Friday night in Class 4A when unbeaten Thomasville and Dadeville square off with a berth in the semi-finals on the line. When they do one of the top juniors in the state will likely be at the center of the attack for Thomasville in 6-2, 215 running back/linebacker Tyler Hayes.

Hayes and the Tigers rolled to a 49-14 win over Straughn last Friday night to win their 14th consecutive home playoff game and improve to 12-0 on the year. In the game Hayes had touchdown runs of 55 and 76 yards and that just added to his already impressive junior season at Thomasville.

Entering the game Hayes was Mr. Everything for the Tigers on offense, defense and special teams. In the first 11 games he had 56 carries for 475 and eight touchdowns, an average of 8.5 yards per carry. He also had 11 receptions for 345 yards and five touchdowns, an average of 31.4 yards per catch.

On defense from his middle linebacker position Hayes had 56 tackles with eight coming for a loss, three sacks, two fumble recoveries with one going for a touchdown. He also averages 38.1 yards on his punts, has five punt returns for 103 yards and one touchdown and two kickoff returns for 32 yards.

Thomasville has outscored its opponents 535-83 this season while Dadeville comes in averaging 34.8 points per game behind the play of quarterback/kicker Kyle Caldwell and a talented group of skill players.

Kyle Caldwell

Playing both ways, Hayes has been a standout since his freshman season when he broke into the starting lineup as a defensive end. Now a full-fledged two-way threat, Hayes said for him he just enjoys being able to do his part in getting wins.

"It's fun but a lot of work though," Hayes said of playing both ways. "It's kind of equal for me on which position I like. I just want to help my team out.

"I think my strength as a runner is my vision," he added. "At linebacker I'm quick at reading the plays."

A visitor to Auburn for the last two games at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Hayes said at the moment he's just taking his time easing into the recruiting process but so far he likes what he sees from the Tigers.

"I like their team unity," Hayes said. "They are together."

In addition to Auburn, Hayes is receiving early attention from Alabama, Southern Miss and several other schools.

The full playoff schedule for this Friday night:

CLASS 1A
Maplesville (12-0) at Linden (11-1)
Saint Jude (11-1) at Sweet Water (9-3)
R.A. Hubbard (11-1) at Lynn (11-1)
Addison (10-2) at Parrish (9-3)

CLASS 2A
American Christian (11-1) at Elba (11-1)
Cottonwood (12-0) at Leroy (11-1)
Sulligent (10-2) at Lineville (9-3)
Tanner (11-0) at Reeltown (11-1)

CLASS 3A
Gordo (11-1) at Trinity (11-1), Montgomery
Leeds (12-0) at Bayside Academy (9-3), Daphne
Plainview (8-3) at Piedmont (11-1)
Madison Academy (10-2) at Hamilton (12-0)

CLASS 4A
Bibb County (11-1) at Escambia County (9-3), Atmore
Dadeville (12-0) at Thomasville (12-0)
Deshler (10-2) at Anniston (10-2)
North Jackson (12-0) at Fayette County (10-2), Fayette

CLASS 5A
Vigor (8-4) at McAdory (10-2), McCalla
Hueytown (11-1) at Spanish Fort (10-2)
Russellville (11-1) at Hartselle (11-1)
Fort Payne (12-0) at Briarwood Christian (11-1), Birmingham

CLASS 6A
Wetumpka (10-1) at Daphne (12-0)
Stanhope Elmore (10-2) at Davidson (11-1), Mobile
Hoover (12-0) at Clay-Chalkville (9-3)
Gadsden City (9-3) at Mountain Brook (10-2)

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