By Jeremy McDonald
WOODBURN, Ore.–Looking to fill the shoes left by Colton Daniels graduating this past June, the Salem Academy football team had an unique face at quarterback as the Crusaders look to add depth to the position:
The soon-to-be-senior hasn’t played the position since freshman year when he played it was a lower level, nine-man football.
Over the past few years, Hazelton has played receiver and defensive back and the transition back to under center was strange entering Wednesday’s 7-on-7 at Woodburn High School as he was getting some reps in with Cole Hardy out of town.
“It’s a little bit strange because I haven’t played it since then so it’s a new thing so I got to keep going and practicing at it,” said Hazelton.
With Hazelton and Hardy battling it out for the ‘QB1’ spot for the end of next month, the depth will help out when the game’s start counting.
“It’s important to have depth because if Cole goes down or something, if he gets a little frustrated in game, we’ll need to be able to get him a little break and get him calm down a little bit so we can keep getting him back in,” said Hazelton.
As the Crusaders ended the four-team 7-on fun with the tough defense Cascade presents and McNary’s quickness, Hazelton knows he can only improve from here.
“I think I did ok, I made some good throws, I made some bad ones,” laughed Hazelton. “It’s give-and-take, still learning a bit, so keep going. Forget about the bad ones and think about the good ones.
“I can work on technique more, still a little funky, but we’re going to work on it and just working on reading the defense better and stuff like that.”