Central Catholic soccer player takes advantage of opportunities

MANISTEE – If Tyler Hallead was at a bigger school, he probably wouldn’t have started with the college football team in both attack and defense in his freshman year.

He wouldn’t have caught 16 passes for 367 yards, scored six touchdowns, had an interception, ran over 200 yards and returned a kick for a touchdown. Or being part of a team that improved from 1-6 to 4-5. Or to have been selected in the second team of all the conferences.

But since he wasn’t in a bigger school, he did all of these things as a freshman for the Manistee Catholic Central Sabers.

“Going straight to college would be tough for any freshman, but Tyler did a phenomenal job of adjusting to it,” said coach Jake Szymanski. “It only took a couple of weeks, and he was our quarterback’s go-to guy, and he just did some great things.

“Coming into freshman, being the new kid, I was looking to make a name for myself,” Hallead said.

And make a name for himself that he made.

“He arrived eager to go,” Szymanski said. “He wanted the ball, and he just took all the perks we gave him. Tyler had a lot of older guys around to help him out, so at first we didn’t have to rely on him alone. Then, when he started to make big plays, we gave him more the ball and he just took advantage.

“It helps that he’s the kind of kid who lets go of the little things we make mistakes about and seeks to learn from them. He’s a hard-working kid. He spends a lot of time in the weight room. , and he’s a three-sport player. around an athlete, a good boy who likes to work hard. “

Hallead was not entirely new to the program. MCC restored college football in time for him to play for the team in eighth grade, and he had been in the college program as a water and ball boy since fifth grade.

“Every year Coach Jake would ask me, ‘Tyler, are you already in first grade?’

“I think this year has gone really well,” Hallead continued. “It didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but it was definitely a great building block for the future. We are losing key senior players – and I was grateful to have the opportunity to play with them. – but I think with the guys coming back for next season, we can fill those positions. “

Hallead has said he enjoys playing eight-a-side football.

“I played 11-player Pop Warner football at Onekama and also with the Manistee middle school team. Making the transition to eight players was a tough and weird transition, but it was totally worth it because it’s a lot. More fun.”

As there were only 13 players on the MCC roster, most had to play both offense and defense. Hallead mainly played the receiver on offense and the defensive back on defense. His only breaks in the action were the time outs and halftime.

“Because most of us were playing on both sides of the ball, we did a lot of extra conditioning exercises during practice,” said Hallead. “Nobody likes it, but it really paid off during games.”

The end of the season that no one liked was that the team couldn’t play their last game.

“The day before the game, we were all doing activities back home, and coach Jake came over and said he had to meet the football players in the locker room. You could tell something was wrong. , and he told us the unfortunate news that Mio had to cancel because of COVID. At first we thought it was a joke, but when he didn’t say “just kidding” it turned into a very bad day because we were looking forward to this game all week and it was taken away from us. ”

Hallead also plays basketball and baseball at MCC.

“Being a small school, everyone plays all sports,” he said. “When the football is over we maybe have a week off and then all the same guys are back for basketball. ”

Hallead enjoys being an MCC student-athlete.

“We have a lot of opportunities, not only in athletics but also in academics. I like that we are a small school and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Szymanski said he looks forward to next season.

“We’re graduating from Kyle (McLinden, quarterback), which was a big part of our offense and a few others, but we’ll have a six- or seven-year-old freshman class that will have a few years of college football under their belts. There should be enough guys coming back that the newcomers can develop a little slower. “

Hallead is also looking forward to football next year.

“I am ready to play any position the team needs and do whatever it takes to bring success to the program,” he said. “Our Saber family deserves nothing less.”


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