BY YANEEK SMITH, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
If Elijah Hatfield keeps it up, he could go down as one of the best football players in Danbury history.
The sophomore, who was moved from strong safety to linebacker to better set him up for success and utilize his talents, had 19 tackles in his very first game last season, which is also a school record.
In Danbury’s 46-42 loss on Friday to St. Mary Central Catholic, Hatfield finished with 15 tackles, two fumble recoveries and a touchdown. His touchdown, which came on a fumble recovery, gave the Lakers a 12-0 lead early in the first quarter.
“St. Mary was on their 2-yard-line, and it was a bad snap, and the ball got kicked around a little bit,” said Danbury coach Keith Mora. “Elijah ended up on it in the end zone to get the touchdown.”
Danbury is 2-4 and 1-1 in the Northern 8 Football Conference and has worked to replace a special senior class. Hatfield, for his part, is having a tremendous season.
“It’s par for the course for him. He’s always finding the way to get to the ball,” said Mora. “He had 19 tackles in the first game he ever played for us. He’s usually going to get 12 to 13 tackles in a game. We moved him up to linebacker from strong safety because he’s always by the ball. He’s a ball-hawker, he’s got a high motor, and he finishes every play.