Hayden football looks for positives after lopsided loss
Hayden — The Hayden High School football team hasn’t always been a team that had to dig for positives at the end of a lopsided loss.
It hasn’t been the one on the wrong end of a running clock or the team that has to throw freshman into the lineup just to keep enough players on the field.
On Friday night, a long season of injuries and, more than anything, an efficient, powerful and skilled opponent made the Tigers all of those things.
Norwood beat Hayden at home, 59-6, dropping Hayden’s record to 3-4.
“I’m proud of the way we fought and the way we handled ourselves,” Hayden coach Shawn Baumgartner said. “That’s a tough situation, and the kids played that whole game with class. I’m really proud of our effort and attitude tonight.”
On the field and the scoreboard, it was all Norwood. The Mavericks had a great game from sophomore quarterback Sladen Hendrickson, who was fast and tough. He scored five times, three times running and twice passing, both to Clint Watt.
John Broadhead and Trenton Arimtrout also scored rushing while Tim Armintrout returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
Hayden got its touchdown from Tanner Guire, who busted a kickoff return 90 yards to get the Tigers on the board in the first half.
Hayden never really had a chance in the game, however.
It entered with its varsity quarterback, Garrett Camilletti, on the sideline with crutches. Soon the day’s starting quarterback, freshman cousin Keyen Camilletti, joined him there after a savage hit took him out of the game.
Senior running back Jack Redmond and freshman lineman Ethan Kern also were injured during the game and missed the second half.
The team only had a dozen healthy players and always had four or five freshman on the field in the second half.
Baumgartner dug for positives.
He pointed out that the team played well early, especially on defense, though turnovers unraveled some good work.
He praised those players who stepped in, and he credited his team for playing with class.
Just two seasons ago, the Tigers were ranked in the 8-man top 10 and went blow for blow with the best teams in the state.
There weren’t a ton of positives, but Baumgartner and the Tigers are hoping that somewhere in an uncompetitive loss, the sparks for more successful seasons are lighting.
“What we can take away from this is that our kids stuck together,” he said. “That’s how we’ll build our future, by them banding together and believing in each other.”