APEX, N.C. (WNCN) – John Hayden knows this is the time of the year when you’re next game can be your last.
“I’d like to ride this out for as long as possible for a lot of reasons,” said Hayden.
One of those reasons has to do with his son Jack. The younger Hayden has played on the varsity for his father the past four years.
“The parent part creeping in was a bit stressful for my wife as well in the stands watching,” admitted John Hayden. “You really want that to work out.”
And it has, about as well as it possibly could. The Hayden’s have led Apex to three-straight state championships games. They’ve won two.
The father- son, coach-player dynamic appears to be working out just fine.
I’ve enjoyed it more than not,” said Jack Hayden. “He’s a little tougher on me I think sometimes but I’m OK with it.”
As a freshman Jack Hayden had a couple of older “brothers” to look up to and lean on. Luke Sieber and Derek Sweet led Apex to a state title three years ago.
Jack Hayden watched how the two led by example.
“They were both on varsity all four years,” said Jack Hayden. “They were to me maybe the best players ever at Apex and that’s what I tried to strive for.”
Jack Hayden has reached that level. He’s the school’s second leading all-time goal scorer and had tallied 258 career points for the Cougars.
Now his career has come full circle. He’s now the one younger players look to. His father couldn’t be more proud.
“What are they going to say about you four or five years from now or when you’re an adult?” asked John Hayden. “What are they going to say about you?”
The Cougars have a chance to win the school’s third state lacrosse title in four years.
A feat that would cement the Hayden’s legacy for years to come.