It’s been a tough fall for the Haskell Haymakers on and off the football field. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the district opened the...
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It’s been a tough fall for the Haskell Haymakers on and off the football field. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the district opened the school year in virtual mode. Football-wise, the Haymakers lost their first game in early September and then went into shutdown for two weeks with no games, no practice, no-nothing. All the while sophomore quarterback Brannon Westmoreland couldn’t wait to get back on the field following that opening loss. Finally, they got to play against Kiefer but lost in a short practice week. But even in that game Haskell coach Greg Nation could see that his young signal caller was an up-and-comer.
“Even though we lost that game, Brannon had a good game throwing and completed some nice long throws,” said Nation. “He’s really maturing quickly. Even as a sophomore he’s got great leadership skills and he’s starting to gain some confidence after our win over Morris.”
Brannon Westmoreland started playing football in kindergarten and grew up following the Sooners and the New England Patriots with Tom Brady. Now he’s the man under center in high school and says it’s a big difference from junior high.
“Being the quarterback in high school is tough. At this level you have to think a lot more. The plays are more complex and the reads have to be quicker. There’s also a lot of responsibility that you feel to your team and the community,” said Westmoreland who also plays baseball and basketball for the Haymakers.
Brannon has a full-circle story that deals with his basketball career. When he was eight years old, he and his father and sister were burned in a brush fire and he became a recipient of the aide offered by the Bedouin Shrine Temple in Muskogee. There were lots of trips to the Shrine burn center in Galveston but with a lot of work, he was back into athletics in four months. Once he got to high school, the Haymakers took part in the Shrine basketball tournament, which was special for Westmoreland.
“It was a pretty big deal for me knowing that being in that tournament would help others kids who might find themselves in my situation. It was pretty cool.”
Now things are looking up in Haskell. In-school learning starts on October 6 for the first time this year and Brannon feels positive about the rest of the football season.
“There was a lot of excitement and more commitment it seemed going into the week of the Morris game and I think winning that game will give us a big boost for the rest of the season.”