ST. DAVID — St. David senior Talon Haynie is described by his coaches and teammates as a fairly quiet individual off the field. But get him on the field and watch out, he lets his play do the talking.
Through eight games this season, Haynie is Cochise County’s top rusher with 1,010 yards on 77 carries for a 13.1 yards per carry average and has scored 18 touchdowns. He has 1,272 all-purpose yards. For the four years he’s been with the Tigers, Talon has rushed for 2,713 yards and has 3,884 all-purpose yards with one regular season game to play as well as the postseason.
Haynie has thrown, caught and ran with the ball, returned kicks and punts and has been in on countless tackles.
When asked what he can’t do on the field, he joked he can’t hurdle people the way some players do.
As a junior last year, Haynie was selected the Herald/Review Best of Preps Football Player of the Year. He was also the 1A South Region Player of the Year and was named to the region first team offensively as a running back and defensively as a linebacker.
Coach Braden Davis said Talon definitely has the ability to play football at the next level. However, he is going to take a couple of years off to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. When he returns from his mission, he may pursue college or apply for the U.S. Border Patrol academy.
Haynie wrestled for the first time last year and was a member of the state championship baseball team.
“Being this is my last year, I’m planning on playing all three sports again this year,” he said. “Between the three sports, I’d say, football is my favorite. I’ve been playing football since I was in fifth grade, mostly as a running back, and linebacker. It’s fun being able to play with all my friends.”
The last two years St. David has lost in the first round of the 1A state playoffs. Knowing that, Haynie is determined to help this team get to the state championship game, where they hope to have a rematch with Heber Mogollon and avenge the only loss.
“We came up short against Mogollon,” he said. “I feel we could have beat them. Hopefully we will get another shot at them, maybe in the state finals.”
Haynie said that Davis and the other coaches have helped him all four years, motivating and encouraging him to push himself, set goals and do what it takes to achieve them.
When he’s not participating in athletics, Haynie said he enjoys four-wheeling, hanging out with his friends and taking part in church-related activities. He also listens to classic rock.
Talon is the oldest of six siblings in his family. His brother, Marek, a junior, in on the football team. Marek is also a running back and though he has only played in three games he has gained 136 yards rushing.
According to a recent Herald/Review story, Haynie’s biggest fans — his parents, Bradley and Connie Haynie — know how much time and energy he puts into being the best that he can be.
“Talon lives for sports,” Connie Haynie said in the article. “Once he has his mind set on something, he goes all out to achieve it, there is no in between. He eats, sleeps and lives football; it’s all he talks about, even out of season. He works hard to get stronger and faster, whether he’s at school in the weight room, at practice or working out at home, he is totally focused.”
Davis said Haynie is one of those rare players a coach gets every so often who works hard, is extremely dedicated and a joy to have on the team.
“He earned our team’s ‘Tiger Award’ his freshman and sophomore year, which is given to the player who coaches feel best represents our program goals of hard work and high character,” Davis said. “Guys that give 100% in every drill, every practice without complaint and represent themselves well off the field. This past year, his younger brother earned the award. That’s the kind of kid Talon is, he gives you 100% in practice; he works his butt off in the weight room. He’s a weight room rat. His strength has improved tremendously the past two years. He is a quite hard-working kid who doesn’t say much but through his play, he speaks loudly on the field.”
Davis said Haynie’s success is not at all surprising.
“That says a lot about his work ethic,” the coach said. “He is so strong he can break tackles if you don’t wrap him up. He’s quick and fast. I’ve said before that Talon’s superpower is being able to stop on a dime and then explode like a rocket.”
“I have said before that Talon is mostly a quiet guy. He leads by example, but he’s also not afraid to speak up and lead vocally when needed. He’s also fiercely competitive. I always know I can count on Talon to give us 100% every second of every play he’s in the game. He’s got a high-rev engine and loves to keep that pedal down.”