Gridiron Football names Dylan Hayes and Michael Malone as “Rising Stars”

After their outstanding performances in the Gridiron Football Jr. All-American Bowl that pitted the best junior high football players in the state of Louisiana against each other, Dylan Hayes and Michael Malone of Jonesboro-Hodge Middle School (J-HMS) has been named as “Rising Stars” by Gridiron Football Magazine. The designation is given to select junior high gridders across the state that are expected to make a big impact for their high school football programs next year. Each was showcased in a feature article of Gridiron Football Magazine as shown below. 

Dylan Hayes 

Dylan Hayes receiving his Gridiron Football All-American Jersey
(Photo courtesy of Jason Saucier)

Interview with Gridiron Football Magazine 

Dylan Hayes is an 8th-grade 6’2 175lb. powerhouse athlete playing both Receiver/Defensive End for Jonesboro-Hodge Middle School in Jonesboro, LA. With the natural athleticism to move like a machine, Dylan is efficient at playing both sides of the ball. Hayes recently showcased his talents in the Gridiron Football Junior High All-American Game.

Q&A with Dylan:

What inspired you to start playing football and how old were you?

I started playing football at the age of 5. I was really inspired by watching a lot of Kevin Johnson highlights growing up.

Did you play any other sports growing up, and why did football stand out to you the most?

I thought I wasn’t good enough to be in basketball, so that’s when I switched over to football.

What have you learned about yourself playing the sport?

Football definitely builds character. The sport has taught me to meet new people and just have fun while playing the sport.

What are your personal goals for the upcoming 2023 season?

The goal I set for myself is to start in varsity and make the varsity team my freshman year of high school.

What are some game day rituals that help you mentally prepare for competition?

On game day, music helps me a lot to block everything out and stay focused.

What sets you apart from any other athlete?

I would say how my teammates describe me like a machine.

If you could go back and give your younger self any piece of advice, what would it be?

I would tell my younger self to remain humble always and don’t let your dreams die.

What motivates you the most every day to get stronger and better?

Seeing other people stronger than me motivates myself to get stronger than I am.

During the offseason, what are some of your favorite hobbies or interests?

I enjoy hanging out with the team and playing basketball.

Who would you say your favorite NFL player is and why do they inspire you?

My favorite NFL player is Kevin Johnson because I look at him as a machine and can’t be stopped.

As a receiver, how do you communicate with and build trust with your QB?

My QB and I are close friends on and off the field, so I trust him, and he trusts me.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone receiving his Gridiron Football All-American Jersey.
(Photo courtesy of Jason Saucier)

Interview with Gridiron Football Magazine 

Michael Malone is an ambitious 6’2 300lb. Offensive and Defensive Lineman playing for Jonesboro-Hodge Middle School in Jonesboro, LA. Michael’s size, strength, and powerhouse mobilities at the age of 13 were recently showcased in the Gridiron Football Junior All-American Game. A young athlete full of heart and passion for the game are expressed below.

Q&A with Michael:

How old were you when you first picked up a football and decided this sport was for you?

I was 4 years old and as a young kid, I would always watch my older brother and cousin play which inspired me.

Who are some of your biggest influences?

My cousins are a big influence on me because they constantly motivate me and stay with me about my education.

Regardless of win or loss, how do you maintain a positive mindset at all times on the field?

Hearing what the coach got to say after the game.

During the offseason, what are some of your favorite hobbies or interests?

Playing basketball, chilling with my friends, and playing the game.

What are some current goals and dreams you have set for yourself?

Going to college, making it to the NFL, and maintaining a 3.5 GPA. My dream school would be to play for Jackson State.

How would your teammates describe you?

My teammates would describe me as being positive, a good motivator, and having good sportsmanship.

What is your favorite football memory?

When I scored a touchdown in 8th grade, at that moment I just felt very happy.

What do you feel you and your team can improve on the most?

As a team, we can improve on everything like skill, strength, and speed.

A special appreciation by Michael, “I would like to thank my family, friends, and my coaches”.

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