PEA RIDGE (KFSM)--Whether on offense, defense or special teams, junior Hayden Holtgrewe is a jack of all trades. He has 1,059 yards through the air along with 466 return yards and 15 total touchdowns.
"Anytime he's on the field, kick returning, punt returning, catching passes, you know he had a 102 yard interception return for a touchdown this year," head coach Stephen Neal said.
Holtgrewe most recently took a punt back 83 yards for a score against Hamburg in the 4A quarterfinals. "Catch the ball is the one thing. Then keep possession, find my blockers, find a hole and go score," Holtgrewe said about his return mentality.
That strategy is usually questioned by teammates like quarterback Jakota Sainsbury. "Sometimes it's like 'Hayden what are you doing, why are you catching that punt?' In the Hamburg game I was confused as to why he caught that one. But he went and caught it, spun, went 83 yards and returned it. Anytime he's back there on punt or kick returns, I'm not sure why anybody really kicks to him."
Holtgrewe and quarterback Jakota Sainsbury have been playing together since 2nd grade and have been friends even longer.
"Even when we were little, we actually reversed roles. I was a tight end and he was a quarterback in second and third grade, and then in fourth grade we switched," said Sainsbury. "Words can't really describe how great an athlete Hayden is and how dependable he is for the team."
As Neal puts it, "He's the epitome of Pea Ridge football. As in he doesn't look dangerous until you get that competitive spirit and the ball in his hands and he becomes extremely dangerous."
Pea Ridge has a chance to win its first ever state championship when it plays Warren on Friday at 7PM, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.