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Group A, Div. 3 Football: Haynes helped JM dance to QB shuffle

COORDINATOR KEPT TEAM’S OFFENSE HUMMING AS SIGNAL-CALLERS CHANGED

BY TAFT COGHILL JR.

When Eddie Haynes was the head football coach at King George High School, it came with a sacrifice.

Haynes lived in Fredericksburg with his wife and two children.

He guided the Foxes to a 9–2 season and a regional playoff berth in 2001, but his mind was often on his daughter, Erin, who was a field hockey player for Walker–Grant Middle School.

    DIVISION 3 FINAL

    James Monroe (12–1) vs. Brookville (13–0)

    WHEN: Saturday, noon

    WHERE: Williams Stadium, Liberty

    University, Lynchburg

    RADIO: A live audio broadcast is available

    on City Cable Channel 18.

    FOR FULL COVERAGE: Click Here

“I didn’t see a single game,” Haynes said. “The day her season ended I knew I was making a change in my life.”

That change meant returning to James Monroe.

Haynes was the Yellow Jackets’ offensive coordinator when they won the Group AA, Division 3 state championship in 1996.

After a five-year run with the Foxes ended, he returned to JM and hasn’t left since. He was a key reason the Yellow Jackets earned the state championship in 2008.

And this season, his ability to dissect opposing defenses has helped JM (12–1) reach the state championship game for the fourth time with him on the staff.

The Yellow Jackets will play Brookville (13–0) on Saturday at Liberty University with a chance to earn the school’s fifth state title.

“He’s meticulous. He’s hardworking. He’s dedicated and the kids love him,” JM head coach Rich Serbay said. “He could coach college quarterbacks in a heartbeat. Whatever our record has been, Eddie Haynes has been a big factor in it.”

Serbay has particularly leaned on Haynes this season.

The Yellow Jackets went into the offseason thinking returning starter DeMontaz Brown would be their quarterback. But Brown suffered a knee injury in the summer, never quite recovered and is now off the team.

Senior backup Julian Bumbrey started the first four games of the season before he suffered a torn ACL and was lost for the rest of the year.

Haynes was then forced to groom third-string sophomore Jay Scroggins in a hurry. Scroggins began his run as starter simply trying to avoid mistakes and allow the JM defense and special teams to win games.

But he’s developed rapidly. He threw two touchdowns and ran for another in JM’s 37–30 three-overtime win over Kettle Run in the state semifinals Saturday.

“[Haynes] made me more comfortable coming in and playing right away,” Scroggins said. “He took me underneath his wing and just told me to stay calm and make good decisions.”

Haynes said the reason he’s been able to adapt from Brown to Bumbrey to Scroggins is because he doesn’t complicate matters for them.

He has an entire book of plays to choose from, but he calls plays based on the quarterback’s skill set. Bumbrey began the season with no varsity experience as a signal-caller. He was able to run the ball effectively but later progressed as a passer.

“I just kept listening to him more because he’s a smart man,” Bumbrey said of Haynes. “He knows what’s open and what’s not open. He just told me to take what the defense gives me. When I did that I became better as a passer.”

Haynes could likely become a head coach again. But he said it’s “24–7, 365” and “a lot of people don’t realize how taxing it is.”

Serbay once touted him as a potential heir apparent after he retires but now realizes Haynes may not be interested.

“I don’t see it happening, but that’s something we’ll have to address when that happens,” Haynes said of taking over for Serbay. “Hopefully, it doesn’t happen for a long time. [Serbay’s] still coaching his butt off.”

Serbay was Haynes’ baseball coach at Stafford High in the 1980s. Serbay said when Haynes took over at Battlefield District rival King George it was “awkward” because of their relationship.

After Haynes returned Serbay gave him the freedom to call plays, but more importantly he allowed him the flexibility to watch his family grow.

Haynes was able to see Erin play field hockey for the Yellow Jackets. And he was able to watch his son, Ryan, run cross country for JM before he graduated in 2010.

So despite other potential opportunities, Haynes is perfectly fine where he is.

“Eddie’s a great family man,” Serbay said. “His daughter’s getting married. His son’s in college. He has a beautiful wife. I think he’s extremely happy with what he’s doing, and I’m extremely happy he’s doing it.”

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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