The Welsh Greyhounds are just a step away from a state title appearance. Welsh hosts No. 4 Many on Friday with a trip to the Superdome on the line.
Welsh star quarterback Zach Hayes has been on a tear since moving over from wide receiver in 2016. The Greyhounds have only lost a pair of games since.
"Everything on our offense is based around him," said Greyhound coach John Richardson. "The fact that he is very intelligent and he is a leader on the field, he understands what we are trying to do and he kind of guides everyone else."
"I think I have the respect of the offense and I think the guys respond very well and they make me play harder," Hayes said. "Our offensive line, running backs and receivers bring another level to the game and it brings me to another level in my game."
Hayes is right about that.
The senior has nearly 3,000 total yards and 32 touchdowns this season. With one game standing between them and the dome, the Hounds are using 2015 as motivation.
"It's in our minds every day. Every day we go to film and we talk about it, 'one win away, one win away.' We were like that two years ago in my sophomore year, and we just didn't get the job done," Hayes admitted. "I think with this year and us being seniors and going through that, I think that really helped us this year."
The community has also played a role in the Hounds success. Just last week vs. Kinder, Hayes went down with an injury in the second quarter, but the crowd helped him back in the game.
"I got tackled in the ball got loose and I came to the ground and I landed on my stomach. It knocked every bit of air out of my stomach. I was laying there and panicking and I didn't know what I was doing," Hayes said. "For me to get up and the whole crowd go crazy, that's just unbelievable. I think that brought me back to life."
For Hayes, being a senior and a Welsh legacy, the opportunity to step on that carpet next week, means everything.
"My dad actually played in the Superdome and it's always been my dream to play in the Superdome as well and make him proud," Hayes said.
"It's our time. We are seniors and this is our last time and go around and it's just very humbling to know that it's our senior year we could go to the dome."
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