CEDARVILLE — For Hayden Partain, the Cedarville Pirates have become an extended family.

Partain currently leads the Pirates with 35 tackles through the first four games as the defense has held squads to 17.8 points per game through the first five games. He could have any major impact no matter where Washausen put him on the field.

As an eighth-grader, Cedarville needed another offensive lineman. Partain took the job.

The sophomore led the junior high squad last season carrying the ball, but with two solid backs returning Kelin Mitchell and Darryl Kattich, the team didn’t have an immediate need in the offensive backfield.

The coaches needed a tight end and Partain stepped into the role.

“He’s very much the kind of throwback player from the 60s and when I played football,” Washausen said. “He’s a very quiet guy, but he’s also very smart. When we needed a tight end he just jumped right in there. He’s the type of kid who will do anything for the team.”

Partain has played through injuries and sickness. In Week 3 against Bigelow, Partain was ill when he came to school on Monday, Washausen told him to go home and get some rest. By Friday night, Partain was ready to go. He caught a couple of passes and had a couple of runs during the game.

“Another great thing about Hayden is that you only have to tell him once to do something or how to do it,” said Washausen. “He also has a look when you’re explaining something to him, but he already knows. He’s courteous, say ‘yes, sir’ or ‘no, sir’ but it seems like he already knew what we were going to say.”

Partain plays many roles for the Pirates. He’s the team’s deep snapper, but he’s also doing the kickoffs. In baseball, he’s the catcher and Partain also plays basketball.

For Partain, it’s relatively simple.

“Football is a big stress reliever for me, but it’s also something I’ve always watched with my family,” said Partain. “Here, we’re all family. I’ll do whatever I can to help my family.”

The sophomores won the junior high title last season and a number of the class is already contributing to the team’s success this year. “We’re really looking forward to where we’re going as a team. We’re hoping the coaches stay to keep us going,” said Partain.

“This group cares about football and they have great parents,” said Washausen. “We’ll watch and breakdown film on Sunday. It’s not mandatory, but Hayden will be here with his dad and both will watch the film together.”

Partain also sports a 28 on his ACT and is enrolled in AP classes in Cedarville. His favorite class is AP World History, taught by Dan Fuller.

The team suffered a setback against Charleston last week, but it won’t deter the resolve of the Pirates for the duration of the season.

“It’s about perspective,” said Washausen. “At this point last year we were 1-4, and now we’re 4-1. There’s still a lot of football left and we still have a lot to play for.”

The team hosts Paris on Friday to get back on the winning track in the 3A-1 Conference.

In the upset against Lamar, Cedarville came away with a couple of turnovers but turned over the ball three times to Charleston.

The Pirates gave up just 232 yards to the Tigers. Charleston struggled with its running game and had just 76 yards on the ground on 22 carries. Cedarville made 10 stops for two yards or less.

The Tigers were able to resort to its passing game to move the ball with Braydon Ross throwing for 156 yards on 12 of 19 passing. Ross was rolling with the momentum at the end of the first half an into the second as he completed eight passes in a row.

Cedarville had 395 yards of offense with Mitchell leading the game with 174 yards on 23 totes while Kattich added 104 yards on 21 carries.

Fayetteville at Van Buren

The Pointers welcome back Casey Dick, who was the head coach last season at Blakemore Field before he left to take the Fayetteville job.

Van Buren (3-2 overall, 1-1 7A West) returns home after a 41-21 loss at Bentonville. The Tigers led 21-0 before the Pointers were able to get on the board with a nine-yard TD pass from Gary Phillips to Jaiden Henry, but Bentonville led 38-7 at halftime. Brayden Rivas finished with 75 yards on six carries including a 56-yard run.

Fayetteville is also 1-1 in the 7A West with a 47-7 win at home against Rogers (0-5) last week. The Pointers defeated Rogers 52-13 in Week 4.