By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
When the quarterback throws the football, somebody with speed and agility (a wide receiver or possibly a tight end) has to be there and be open to catch that pass, hang onto it no matter what – and run with it, if possible, for as far as possible – all the while, outmaneuvering and outrunning the safeties, cornerbacks and other defensive players of the opposing team.
The four young men who play the wide receiver position for the Madison County High School Cowboys are Charles Brown, Jr. (#3), Neal Brown (#19), Tre Arnold (#7) and Jason Hayling (#16).
Neal Brown, a third-year wide receiver and the son of Eric and Kenya Brown, recalls the game played against Live Oak as one of his favorite moments. Only a week after their first game of the season against Colquitt, where they lost by only one point, the Cowboys came back and walloped Live Oak 40-8; however, that isn’t the only reason Neal remembers that game so well.
“I had four catches for 112 yards and one touchdown,” he said of the home game with all their friends, fans and family present. “It was a moment I enjoyed.”
Jason Hayling, on the other hand, recalls the Colquitt Game as “one of several” of his favorite Cowboy moments, “when I saw how well we played together.” The son of Marva Hayling, he has played wide receiver for two years.
Tre Arnold, the son of Sharon Haynes and Chuck Arnold, remembers the game against Taylor County, another Cowboy victory, where he played his first game as a starting wide receiver and made his first catch. Like Hayling, Arnold has been a wide receiver for two years.
Charles Brown, Jr., son of Charles Brown, Sr., is another three-year wide receiver, one who hopes to play college football and loves ESPN, recalling the time spent at the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) camp as one of his favorite moments.
Hayling also talked about FCA Camp, where he learned all about his teammates, as did Arnold. After hearing some of the stories about their lives, “we felt closer to each other,” Arnold said.
That friendship and closeness, a theme that often comes up when speaking with Cowboy players, the knowledge that they can depend on each other, may be part of why they work together so well as a team and are a force to be reckoned with on the playing field. “When you come out here, you know you’re going to be with friends,” said Neal Brown. “They’re all like family. If you have nobody else to go home to, you know you can go home to them.”
When it comes to other favorite things, Neal likes the movie “ATL” and the TV show “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.” His favorite food is BBQ, which is also Hayling’s favorite. When it comes to movies, though, Hayling lists “All About the Benjamins” as his favorite. Arnold likes the movie “Blindside,” with his favorite foods being fried chicken and pork-and-beans.
All four young men plan to attend college after graduation. Neal Brown doesn’t speak of a major just yet, but knows he wants to get an education. Charles Brown, Jr. plans to play football and get an education. Arnold hopes to play sports while he works toward a degree in engineering, and Hayling plans to study criminal justice.
Then it’s time to hurry out to the practice field for another daily fast and furious practice session, so they can play another game of great football for all those Cowboy fans come Friday night.