Walking through fields of frozen tundra around Columbia Falls, Michael Hader has time to relax.
It is his time away from the stadium lights: when he can forget about wrestling and football. Instead he can concentrate at the task at hand – find more and larger antlers in a season than his dad.
Horn hunting, looking for antlers that have been shed during the winter, has become one of the biggest contests between Hader and his father.
“He’s like my best friend. He’s a hard worker and he’s the first one to work and the last one to leave,” said Hader. And his influence translates to the football field. “I try a hard as I can to be the person who works the hardest, runs the fastest. And be the one to lead.”
This year, the senior co-captain for the Wildcats aggressively leads the team in tackles and calls his team a cohesive unit.
“It’s nice to play as a team and have 11 guys working together,” Hader said. “In wrestling you work hard because there is no one else to blame. In football you have to work hard as a team, and you can’t point fingers.
“I do my job and don’t blame anyone else for something bad happening. That’s how you win football games.”
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