NOTE: This is the sixth part of a series published exclusively in the Jackson Parish Journal that celebrates the achievements of the six athletes and three Special Award winners that will be inducted into the Jackson Parish Sports Hall of Fame (JPSHOF) on August 7th. This week: Tyjuan Hayes.
Researchers estimate that at least 10 percent of the U.S. population has a fear of the number 13 and even more have a specific fear of Friday the 13th. Throughout history, the number 13 has been associated with bad luck and misfortune, so it’s only natural that people are dubious. There is even a word in Webster’s Dictionary that describes the fear of the number – triskaidekaphobia.
Yet the only quarterback in Jonesboro-Hodge High School history that has three state championships on his resume, two of which he was the starter, wore #13. Doesn’t sound like the number was unlucky for Class of 2021 Jackson Parish Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Tyjuan Hayes. Then again luck had nothing to do with it.
“Tyjuan is one of the smartest players I have ever had the opportunity to coach” said former Jonesboro-Hodge head football coach Joey Pender during the 1989 season. “The way he plays is the way our offense plays.”
That was quite a statement at the time especially considering that the Tiger boasted another JPSHOF member on the team in running back Norman Bradford, who many consider the best running back in JHHS history. Giving credence to the statement was the fact that Hayes was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1988 state championship game in his first year as a starter.
In the 1989 season Hayes led JHHS to their third straight title earning first team Class 2A All State honors along the way, as well as, being named to the 1st team Composite Academic All State team, a first for any JHHS football player. A further testament to his prowess in both athletics and in the classroom was him being the first player in Jackson Parish history to be awarded the prestigious News Star, Buddy Blair Award which is annually given to the stop student athlete in northeast Louisiana. Hayes also received the John Thrasher Scholarship given to the Jackson Parish student exemplifying Academic Achievement and Leadership.
Hayes was the perfect example of a leader. Successful leaders are expert decision makers. They facilitate or empower their colleagues to to be successful. They focus on “making things happen” at all times and provide decisions or activities that sustain progress.
To give a better perspective of his well-rounded ability on and off the field. Hayes was a President of the National Honor Society and Class student body for multiple years as well as President of the Key Club, which was the future business leaders organization. His athletic prowess was even more impressive.
In his senior season alone, Hayes not only was first team All State in football but was first team All-District in basketball and baseball as well as placing 3rd in the district meet in track. He represented JHHS in the Louisiana High School All Star game. The year before he was a mainstay on the Tigers Class 2A state runner-up basketball team and led JHHS deep into the playoffs in baseball as a pitcher and shortstop.
Upon his completion of high school Hayes accepted an offer to play quarterback for the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL) now known as the University of Louisiana (UL) where he was a three year letterman. In 1991 Hayes became the second quarterback in the long history of the school to lead the team in rushing. Hayes graduated college from Grambling State University with an Electronics Engineering Technology Degree and is presently working in the oil and gas industry in Houston, TX.
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