When offenses line up against the Bulldogs, they know they are in for a long night on the football field.
The Altus defense flocks to the ball carrier on nearly every play. It is how they are coached and it is what is expected of them.
They are always hyperaware and ready to take down the opposing offense as quickly as possible to get their own offense back on the field to put six more points on the board.
One of the anchors of that defense is the 6-foot 3-inch, 170-pound Hassan Foye.
Foye plays with intensity and can often be seen on the field as the team’s hype man, pumping up the crowd or beating his chest after every stop. It is a sight that has become commonplace on every field the Bulldogs take and one of the biggest reasons for that is Foye’s ability of finding a way to be in on the majority of the team’s stops.
When the Bulldogs were making their championship run last season, Foye was a menace to opposing teams. In 14 games, he recorded 116 tackles and two interceptions, making his presence known with brutal hits.
Foye hustles too, always quick to get into position to make a first down or touchdown-saving tackle.
In the game against Ardmore, a Tiger ball carrier was working his way down the field for a huge gain, dodging Bulldog tacklers with his eyes locked on the end zone. Foye traveled down the field, covering a large distance in a short amount of time and obliterated the running back from behind, saving a touchdown and pumping up the Bulldogs who had just been gouged on a rare big play from their opponent.
It is what he does and it is how he has made his impact on this team.
But for all of his success, Foye credits his older brother Jaleel and his grandmother Ruby for his drive and determination. They are his role models and their influence has kept him pushing through every roadblock he has had in his life.
“I got into football because of my older brothers,” Foye said. “When I was 12, I realized that football was something I really wanted to pursue. Before then, it was always just something that was fun to do. Football has taught me discipline, unity, and being able to persevere no matter what I go through in life.”
Football has made Foye a leader and as a leader on this team, his focus is on doing his best for his teammates and his coaches.
“The brotherhood here at Altus drives me to succeed,” said Foye. “Just knowing that I play for the team, win for the team, and lose for the team keeps me yearning for success not only for me, but for my brothers as well.”
As a key piece of the defensive unit, Foye has made 42 tackles this season — eight of them coming for a loss — displaying his penchant for snuffing out opponents’ plays before they can get started.
In addition, he also has one sack and two pass breakups, solidifying him as one of the top play makers on the defensive side of the ball.
Foye hopes to continue the run of success. At 5-1, they are one of the biggest threats in Class 5A football and have a legitimate shot to repeat as state champions.
His focus is on football and achieving what many around the state had thought impossible until the Bulldogs rolled out of the gate on a tear. The state championship win against Collinsville is still on his mind daily, and he knows that through hard work and dedication, this team can get back to the championship game and do what no other football team has done in the school’s history.
With his mom in the stands each and every game, cheering for him both on and off the field, Foye knows the sky is the limit.
“It was an amazing feeling winning state and knowing that all my hard work has finally paid off,” Foye said. “I hope to use all the things football and my coaches have taught me and I hope to apply them through all areas of my life, and as a leader on the team, there is no way I will ever let my brothers down.”
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.