Hawley looks to be a playoff team once again in 2017 with the return of 14 total starters, including quarterback Quay Stokes. The senior signal-caller lit up scoreboards in West Texas last season, tossing 3,106 yards and rushing for 922 yards with 51 total touchdowns en route to first team all-district honors. Stokes is nearing a major milestone as well, encroaching on 10,000 passing and rushing yards on his career.
Stokes, like many small-town athletes, is a talented three sport athlete, but is also equally skilled on the baseball diamond as he is on the football field. Here’s what he had to say when we recently talked with him about the upcoming season, as well as a glimpse into the world of small-town Texas football from the eyes of those who play it:
TEXASHSFOOTBALL.COM: Firstly, how did your two-a-day practices go? Was there anything in specific you saw as a positive from the team?
QUAY STOKES: Two-a-days is always a good thing, gets us all back together. I saw a lot of competition, a lot of young guys fighting for a spot. I hope that competition transfers over into the regular season.
TEXASHSFOOTBALL.COM: Hawley returns 14 total starters from last season, including yourself. What do you think of this returning bunch?
STOKES: We got quite a bit returning. We were young last year because a lot of our guys got bit by the injury bug, so some of them had to grow up a little bit. Our young and old guys are meshing together, which is nice to see.
TEXASHSFOOTBALL.COM: This season you have the opportunity to reach 10,000 passing and rushing yards in your career. What we think a lot of people want to know is, how do you continue to do what you do best?
STOKES: I’ve been blessed with a great supporting cast around me, and a great coaching staff with Coach Ables and them. My team is just tremendous, they do a tremendous job of doing everything they can. Starts with our offensive line and our running backs doing their job. Everyone has a key component in this 10,000 yard mark, it’s not an individual award. And my family and friends, I can’t do it without their support. That’s how I keep doing what I do.
TEXASHSFOOTBALL.COM: Looking at the schedule now, what are some games you’re interested in playing in this season?
STOKES: District games are always important, but we can’t ever overlook any games before that. We’re gonna go in every week preparing for that. I’m most looking forward to the district title game, and the second round playoff game. Win those two games against whoever it may be.
TEXASHSFOOTBALL.COM: Take us through a day in the life of a small town Texas high school football player on game day. You wake up, you go to school, go to classes, have a pep rally and get ready for the game. That’s about a rough outline, but go into detail on what happens during this time.
STOKES: You wake up, of course you gotta go to school. Your head’s definitely not at school, all you can think about is the game. At our school, we try to stay together all day, stay as a team. Not a whole lot changes throughout the day, but your mindset’s a different thing. You try to stay as normal as possible, and be with your team.
TEXASHSFOOTBALL.COM: As some know, Hawley isn’t exactly a bustling metropolis. Take us into your life a little bit more, what are some things you do around town during the summer or on weekends?
STOKES: You spend a lot of time with friends. I can’t speak for Abilene of course, but I feel at Hawley you have a lot more closer relationship with your friends because everyone’s close by. In Hawley you hang out with your friends and get ready for the football season, that’s about all there is to it. But the good thing about Hawley is we’re only about 10 minutes out of Abilene, so we’re not too far from all the fun.
TEXASHSFOOTBALL.COM: Speaking personally now, do you have any future plans for college?
STOKES: Nothing set in stone right now, the goal is to play college football or baseball, whichever opportunity I can get.
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