Standing and watching Washington's most prolific scoring machine of all time was pretty fun last year. Over 3 or 4 seasons Connell High School's Matt Hadley was unstoppable and broke the all time record for touchdowns scored by a wide margin.
As we watched the Eagles win another Championship last season under the stewardship of Head Coach Matt Riner we saw Hadley put on a show.
We also saw a team win and that the boys of the wheat fields of Eastern Washington have talent across the board. One kid caught our eye and was crucial for the big win. He blew some nice holes for Hadley and we took note.
Post celebration as the Eagles wrapped up their 2011 State Title we had a chance to meet #77. His Name is Mack Hopkins and at 6'4" and 295 pounds he is a load. What stood out to us was his mobility and his agility. As big as he is he is not going to have issues handling most opposing linemen.
And it was great to find out he was only a Sophomore and that he has two years left. Fast forward to July and we finally caught up to him as he has been busy harvesting wheat with his family. Mack caught us up on some of his activities and his progress.
"It has been busy for sure. We have been contract harvesting all over Washington and Oregon so my work schedule this time of the year takes priority," said Hopkins agreeing that it is next to impossible for him to get out to camps and showcase events.
His Grandfather and Uncle have been harvesting wheat for decades and this is his 5th year working the harvest. He admits he drives the combines sometimes all night and that it is tough but fun too.
"It's what we do out here. I was born and raised out in this country. Being a farm kid has taught me about hard work for sure."
Hopkins estimates that his family farms between 7,000 and 10,000 acres but said he has never really put a number to it. With food prices on the rise agriculture is one of the hottest fields a young person can get into and he certainly thinks farming is something he could do long into the future.
Back on the football field he talked about his strengths and areas for improvement.
"My strength and overall size are the things that I feel are my best assets. As far as improvement there is no doubt I can get faster and more agile too. I will be much better before I leave Connell for college," said Mack who also plays basketball and loves it. "Hoops keeps me mobile and in shape. That is my favorite sport after football."
College? You bet.
"I am going to get my name out more next season. Right now we are still working on my highlights from last year. WSU is a school I would love to play for. And I will look at any program who would be interested in me. My dream ever since I was a little kid was to play for the New England Patriots. Hey you never know," said Hopkins smiling.
Big. Agile. Good student. Farm Boy.
That folks is a winning combination and we have Mack Hopkins on our radar as one of the top linemen for the Class of 2014. Odds are you heard it here first. Any college would want to be interested in this young man and we will bring you his highlight film as soon as it is in!