The improvement started at the Duel, and it continued throughout the season.

After placing eighth in the Duel before heading into eighth grade, Hayden Richardson climbed to No. 5 overall among incoming ninth graders this summer.

“I was happy with coming in fifth place,” he said. “It helped my confidence and it helped me understand what I am capable of doing. I look forward to continuing to improve.”

Heading into the season at Marist School, a powerhouse football program in Atlanta, Richardson continued to improve while emerging as the No. 1 quarterback on the War Eagles’ freshman team.

As the season progressed, he was bumped up to the JV team and also was promoted to the varsity. “I am really happy about making the most of my limited role with the freshman team throughout the season,” Richardson said. “I was able to make the most of my limited role and show how I can contribute to the team. We started the season 1-2 but we were able to win four straight and finish at 5-2.”

His success at the Duel and with Marist School’s freshman team helped elevate Richardson to the JV and varsity programs. “I look to be as consistent as possible and continue to improve everything,” he said. “I can make plays with my legs, I have good overall accuracy and I am a good decision maker.”

Richardson is very good in all areas, but he is still working hard to become an even better quarterback. “I’m working to improve my overall game,” he said. “I want to be as consistent as possible and continue to improve everything. I want to get better at avoiding the rush when I’m in the pocket and improve my footwork.”

A quarterback since he was in third grade, Richardson has gotten better and better with experience. “Playing quarterback, I really enjoy being able to handle the ball every play and be in complete control of the offense,” he said. “And I like being able to run and throw the ball.”

Training with NFA for the past three years has helped Richardson take his game to higher levels. He qualified for the Duel at a camp at East Coweta High School in Georgia.

“NFA has improved my arm over the last three years,” Richardson said. “Each year, it has improved greatly. Without NFA I wouldn’t be able to throw as well as I do today. They have also helped me with understanding to read defenses and avoid pass rushers. They have really helped me improve.”

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