BY PETE MOHR | JULY 18, 2012

Meet the Football Falcon seniors …
Dylan Hasse

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dylan hasseI started my profile interview with Dylan Hasse, the OT/DT who’ll wear #71 on Friday nights, by asking, “What’s different about this Falcon team?” I have my own takes, but I can’t top the answer-by-example Dylan volunteered. He told me that when these 2012 Falcons break their practice intervals and hydration unit huddles, they shout, “ONE, TWO, THREE … STATE PLAYOFFS!” Sometimes, they substitute the traditional “FALCONS!”; but clearly, their focus is riveted upon making the State Playoffs. The “gut” question is: can they take their practice field spirit to Falcon Stadium? Only August through October can tell.

I don’t think the Falcons are singing in the proverbial shower; but I know – and Dylan Hasse knows – that to set the tone, believably, for a Playoffs run, the ‘Birds will need to upset Boulder Creek (August 24) and/or Pinnacle (August 31) – or at least show consistent fight against their only two Division 1 opponents. No more 2nd half breakdowns. But keep in mind, Falcon fans, that after those two back-to-back home games, there’ll still be eight dates left.

A native Arizonan, Dylan was born September 13, 1994, the fourth child of Creekers Kevin and Suzy Hasse. Dylan’s younger brother, Case, is a rising CSHS junior – and an aspiring linebacker. The brothers have been watched over by three older sisters: Tawnya (CSHS ’99), Tasha (CSHS ’03) and Savannah. When Dylan’s at DT (either side), he hopes that Case and he will be on the field at the same time.

I asked Dylan to punch up for me his favorite football memory. He provided two: the first from years-ago “flag” football. Dylan, now grown to a formidable 6’4”, 266 lbs., was a slimmer boy quarterback then. He threw a touchdown pass to Brad Souva, who’s become a rising junior lineman – huge, like Dylan. Brad is the youngest – behind Tyler (CSHS ’08) and Ben (CSHS ’11) of Bob and Maggie Souva’s Football Falcon sons.

Dylan’s second football memory is one that he would just as soon forget. At a Game Day assembly last fall, a Girls Soccer Falcon encouraged the audience, “Come out and watch us play. We’re the real football team!” Ouch! That cut had to smart. “We’re a different bunch of kids this year,” Dylan vows. I believe him.

He most credits Kevin and Suzy for his football progress – in a specific tribute that surprised me in today’s environment of parental pressure on athlete children: they never “forced” Dylan to keep on with football. “I played Pop Warner (now Cave Creek Youth Football) with a lot of kids who got sick of football and quit. My parents let me play, because they knew I wanted to.”

I then asked Dylan, “What does it mean to you to be a Football Falcon?” “Respect” was his immediate one-word answer. He elaborated, “To do everything I can to help this football team regain respect with our school.” He’s committed to “senior leadership” and “team chemistry” – especially between senior and junior Falcons. “We didn’t have that chemistry last year,” he lamented. These high marks for Head Coach Greg Davis: “He really focuses on what’s best for his players. We can see that he tries to do everything right.”

With a solid 3.5 GPA, he told me,” I take my academics seriously.” Collegiately, he’ll follow wherever a football scholarship may lead him. He “loves the outdoors,” deer hunting with both gun and bow; is a “sometimes” golfer; and most enjoys “just hangin’ out” with team-mates and friends. He carefully avoided identifying his favorite Falconette. For sure, she’s not the aforementioned Girls Soccer player.

Dylan returned to talk about the team and its prospects. He predicts, “If we can stay healthy, I really think we’re going to shock a lot of people. There aren’t many who expect us to do much.” For the Falcons to fly under the radar is fine with him. “D-Hass,” as his teammates have nicknamed him, was more than direct about his personal goal for the season. He pulled no punches: “I’m a big dude. I want to be feared! When the other team has the ball, I want them to be thinking, ‘Don’t run the ball to #71’s side!’”

Thanks for your candor, Dylan Hasse. May your senior season be fearsomely successful. “ONE-TWO-THREE … STATE PLAYOFFS!