Ad Spot

See how Titans coaches say Adrian Hayward is turning hard times into gridiron success

Memorial junior running back Adrian Hayward admitted he was a handful as a freshman. In the ninth grade, he was only two years removed from his mother’s death and was young and angry.

“My mom passed when I was in the seventh grade,” Hayward said. “I took that kind of hard. That was my first lady. She taught me most of the stuff I know. My father wasn’t really around. My uncle and my aunty, they played the role of my parents from when I was born to now. They have helped me a lot.”

Memorial head coach Brian Morgan said he noticed the positive changes in Hayward.

“AJ is another one of those guys who has grown up a ton since his freshman year,” Morgan said. “I think his background has made it to where it is hard for him to trust people. I think it took a lot of time to build that trust. I think it was about halfway through last year, it finally started to click. Once he realizes you are on his side, want what’s best for him and that you are going to go to war for him, he will do the same for you.”

Hayward said he loves playing for the Titans.

“I feel like we play as one and as a family,” he said. “When I first came here, I had a bad attitude. Coach Morgan and the other coaches really helped me with it. He helped me with school, as well. Growing up as a kid, growing up hard, this school has really changed me. For me, playing for this team is really big in my life.”

The running back credits his uncle and aunt for helping him with his emotions.

“I had a bad attitude,” he said. “Now, I don’t have it anymore. I’m much more respectful — sometimes. When I want to be. They have taught me a lot and have gotten me ready for the real world.”

Hayward said his grandfather makes sure the junior stays busy by helping the elderly on off-days.

While his grandfather keeps him busy off the field, Morgan and the Titans offense keep Hayward busy on the field.

The running back leads District 9-5A Division I in receptions with 39. He is also third in receiving yards with 427 yards and two touchdowns. He also has 281 yards rushing on 53 carries and two touchdowns.

Hayward’s versatility compliments senior running back Branden Chaney.

The Titans (8-0, 6-0 in 9-5A-I) often take the field with both running backs, lining up either one in the backfield or in the slot receiver position.

“We run the same offense no matter who is at what position, but we do try to cater a bit to their skillsets,” Morgan said. “You can line them up all over because they are both really smart players.”

Hayward said the team’s success is brought on by the group’s closeness.

“You can’t play without each other,” he said. “If you play as one and play as a brotherhood, it will all come out well and a win.”

The Titans will try to get one more win to complete a perfect regular season as they take on Friendswood. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium.


District 9-5A Division I standings


Team                                                          Dist.                         Over.

Port Arthur Memorial                  6-0                           8-0

Baytown Lee                                          4-2                            6-2

Goose Creek Memorial  4-2                            5-3

Beaumont United                                4-2                            4-3

Friendswood                                         3-3                            3-5

La Porte                                                     2-4                            4-4

Baytown Sterling                                1-5                            2-6

Galveston Ball                                       0-6                            1-7

Check this Out

PAPD: Help ID man who stole car wearing “mom’s pink house slippers”


Police investigating after bicyclist killed in vehicle collision


Sign up for Thursday’s virtual PA Chamber banquet


Barbara Phillips recognized for dedication, loyalty to Port Arthur


Pat Avery looks back at year of learning, looks forward to more growth


BRIGHT FUTURES — Port Arthur sophomore Gabrielle Roy ready to be her own boss


See why Central Middle School’s jazz band was named best in Texas


Area man sentenced to 18 years for intoxication manslaughter

Check this Out

Goal-den — Record-breaking scorer Jason Lovejoy leading PNG’s unbeaten season


Crash on Interstate 10 in Jefferson County leads to closed lanes


UPDATED: Traffic lanes reopen on Rainbow Bridge following crash


Police: Handyman unhappy with pay attacks & significantly injures 74-year-old woman


Police: Truck stolen from Port Neches crashes in Port Arthur


Ron Fletcher looks back on hard-fought 2020 success for Chamber


Ron Arceneaux sees “comeback year” for Port Arthur, Chamber in 2021

Check this Out

Boat trailer domestic dispute leads to shooting of Good Samaritan in Groves, cops say


Nederland Police Department arrests, responses: Jan. 18-24

High School Sports

Memorial hoops looking for spark as season closes


Final decision made for 2021 Nederland Heritage Festival


See which Nederland High students were selected Texas All-State musicians


See why LIT was named one of nation’s best for its OSHA program


Judge Branick: “very slow, plodding” vaccine process taking place; streamlining efforts beginning


TxDOT announces I-10 closures for Monday night


Brent Weaver talks plans to retire from Precinct 2 county commissioner’s role