Haynes has the right touch with sports

Published 11:20 pm Saturday, May 22, 2010

COAL GROVE — Oakie Haynes might not have the Midas gold touch when it comes to sports, but he certainly has left an imprint when he touches one.

Every sport Haynes has tried he has been successful in, some more than others. In all, the senior standout has played football, basketball, baseball and track.

In football, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Haynes led the offense with 955 yards rushing and caught nine passes for 159 yards. He scored 21 touchdowns including 18 rushing.

As a result, the Hornets were 9-2, won their third straight Ohio Valley Conference title and qualified for the postseason for the first time since 1996.

“We had a good season and I was happy, but I thought it could have been better,” said Haynes.

Next came basketball and Haynes decided to play for the first time since the eighth grade. After a slow start, Haynes was arguably the Hornets’ best player down the stretch.

“It was a little hard at first. I hadn’t played since the eighth grade so I struggled early. But once we started playing games, it got easier and it was fun. I wished I had played all the way through. It might have been different,” said Haynes.

With two sports down, Haynes had two more to go including what might be his most successful sport: track.

In baseball, Haynes pitched some but he was more valuable to the team in his leadoff position. A walk or a single was virtually a triple. Haynes was never thrown out as he easily stole one base after another. Twice he stole home including a delayed steal when he broke for home on the catcher’s relay toss back to the pitcher.

“I like baseball. It was fun and the coaches were very cooperative. Their cooperation is why I was able to play both sports,” said Haynes.

The cooperation was the most evident last year when Coal Grove had a home baseball game at the same time there was a home track meet.

Haynes wore his track uniform under his baseball uniform and ran back and forth between the game and the meet when the Hornets’ were up to bat. With an open pit in the long jump, Haynes could come and go with his attempts and he won the event. He also won the 100-meter dash.

“That was fun. The best thing is we won the baseball game and we won the track meet,” said Haynes.

But it has been track where the speedy Haynes has excelled. He broke the school record for the 100-meter dash time and he has broken it twice since then. His best time this season is a Speedy Gonzales-like 10.5 seconds.

Haynes attributes his track career to coach Jay Lucas.

“When I was a freshman, coach (Lucas) asked me to try and run the 100. I ran an 11.4 (seconds) and he said, ‘That’s pretty good.’ Later on I ran an 11.2 and that was pretty good for a freshman,” said Haynes.

As Haynes got older, his times came down.

“I’m not that big, but I started to get bigger and stronger. Football helped me a lot by lifting and just the game itself,” said Haynes.

Haynes’ times make him not only a potential state qualifier but possibly the favorite to win the event.

“I went to the regionals as a sophomore and I went to the state last year. The experience should help. The first time I went to the state it was intimidating, so I should be more relaxed,” said Haynes.

But of all the sports, Haynes doesn’t hesitate when asked his favorite.

“Football. No doubt,” said Haynes. “I’ve played it since the third grade. You grow up on football. I wouldn’t mind running track in college, but I’d really like to play football,” said Haynes.

No matter what Haynes plays, you can give his career two thumbs up.