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Above: East Lansing seniors Kobe Hayward (from left), Kaleb Elam and Jack Morse celebrate their college commitments Friday afternoon in the Hub at East Lansing High School.
The post-event assortment of treats in the East Lansing High School Hub were mere icing on the cake Friday afternoon for three Trojan seniors who celebrated their official commitments to continue their academic and athletic careers at Michigan universities next year.
Kaleb Elam, Kobe Hayward and Jack Morse all played leading roles this past season for the Trojan football team, runners-up in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue Division with an overall record of 9-2.
Hayward led the team in rushing yardage (958) and touchdowns (10). He was a first team all-conference selection and was voted the team’s most valuable player. He also shared the team’s Captain’s Award with Morse.
“It means a lot to me because it’s been a dream of mine to play college football,” said Hayward, who plans to enroll at Grand Valley State in Allendale. “I’m finally doing it and I can’t wait to get started.”
Morse was the team’s second-leading receiver with 46 receptions for 479 yards, including a game-winning run and catch in the final seconds against Grand Ledge. As the team’s placekicker, Morse converted 29 of 35 extra points and seven of eight field goal attempts. His longest field goal covered 45 yards in a win over Divine Child at Dearborn.
Morse, along with Elam, has signed a letter of intent to enroll at Davenport University in Grand Rapids.
“Coach (Bill) Feraco is very proud because I think it will help the younger guys work harder, to see what they too can accomplish,” said Morse, who also earned all-conference honors as a wide receiver and kicker. “It gives them something to look up to, and maybe leaves a legacy for the program.
“We have a great tradition here at East Lansing, and this type of day helps it keep going.”
Elam, an honorable mention all-conference selection at defensive back, led the team with three interceptions. Midway through the season he started at tailback in place of Hayward, who was recovering from an upper chest injury. Elam gained 138 yards on 16 carries against Everett that night in a 20-12 victory.
“I’d like to thank both God and my family, my coaches and my teammates,” Elam said. “Without them, this would not be possible.”
Feraco shared his thoughts on the significance of his players’ accomplishments.
“Three things helped these three individuals get to this place in their lives,” Feraco said to the large gathering, which included families, students, coaches, teachers and school staff members. “Character, academics and athletics. They’ve excelled at all three and they’ve put in the work to get here. Now they have an opportunity to reap some of those benefits.”
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