Male Athlete of the Week: Patience key for Skyline’s Halsey

Brad Halsey Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – Patience has paid off for Brad Halsey.

The Skyline junior running back has learned to be patient on the field, and that helped him have a big game for the Hawks in last week’s 29-28 overtime victory over James Wood.

“My coaches always tell me you can’t get mad. There’s not always going to be a play there,” Halsey said. “You have to keep waiting and eventually it will come. It may not always be an 80-yard run, but it will be something. You take what you get. You can’t expect to have a touchdown every play.

“Some plays you can get two yards. Some plays you can get three yards. You have to be patient.”

Halsey only had one run over 10 yards in the game, but it was a 15-yard touchdown. He finished the game with 70 yards on 21 carries, but much of it came in the fourth quarter and overtime. Halsey had six carries for 41 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime, including 35 yards on a game-tying drive in the final quarter.

He had three touchdowns, including the one in overtime, and had six receptions for 54 yards. Halsey’s play earned him The Northern Virginia Daily’s Male Athlete of the Week for the week of Oct. 12-Oct. 18.

Skyline coach Heath Gilbert said that he was proud of the way Halsey fought through contact on the overtime touchdown.

“He made contact with a linebacker five yards out, and was able to run through that tackle and fought off a couple more to get into the end zone,” Gilbert said. “It was a great effort.”

Halsey transferred to Skyline from Westfield High School midway through the school year last year.

Gilbert said Skyline’s offense is different from Westfield, and Halsey has had to adjust to it.

“I think he came from a system that utilizes a fullback,” Gilbert said. “So he was really comfortable with a fullback in front of him, and now we run a system that’s a little different. He’s learning the intricacies of running the zone.”

Halsey said that he played football since he was in second grade in Chantilly before moving to the area last year. He said playing at Westfield, which is a Group 6A school, was a little different from Skyline, but he’s happy playing for the Hawks.

He said his Skyline teammates were very accepting of having him on the team.

“They welcomed me into the team, and I guess I’m part of the team now,” Halsey said.

Halsey has 533 yards rushing this season on 118 carries and five touchdowns. He also has 14 receptions for 137 yards receiving and one touchdown.

His six receptions against James Wood were his most this season, and Halsey said he enjoys that part of the game as well.

The win over the Colonels was a big one for the Hawks. It moved them closer to .500, and gave them some momentum headed into the last three games of the season.

“I feel like our record doesn’t show how good we could be,” Halsey said. “I feel like we had some opportunities in past games where we could have done something differently but we didn’t,” Halsey said. “We didn’t let that end our season, and we kept going. Whether you win or lose, you still have to go practice next week and get what has to be done, done.”

The Hawks lost a lot of players from a very successful team last year, and Gilbert said it’s taken some time for things to come together this year. He said that the team had the best week of practice in the program’s history after a lopsided loss to John Champe on Oct. 1, and he was happy to see it pay off against the Colonels.

Halsey said the team just needs to keep playing and practicing hard and it will work out for them.

“I feel like if everybody keeps working as hard as we’ve been working lately and work as hard as we can, then we’ll finish the season off strong,” Halsey said.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com