Hagen Willingham is average height and average weight at 5’9″ and 170 lbs, but there is nothing else “average” about him. The senior All-Purpose football player at Trion High School took his final year on the gridiron to simply rewrite the record books for the Bulldogs.
As a tailback, Willingham ran deceptively fast and remarkably powerful. With key players graduating from the 2017 team, Hagen knew that the workload of the offense would fall squarely on his shoulders. “I knew I had to do a lot for our offense to be successful,” Willingham reflected. So that is what he did. A lot. Carrying the ball 177 times, Willingham compiled the largest Single-Season Rushing Total in Trion history, with 1,634 yards (breaking Daniel Calhoun’s 1,627 mark set in 1999). Hagen averaged a staggering 9.2 yards per carry and tied the record for Most Touchdowns in a Season with 23. (Chris Chapman ’03).
But the record-breaking season didn’t stop with rushing yards and touchdowns, Willingham also recorded the Longest Punt Return in Bulldog history, an 84 yard return against Bowdon. Against rival Gordon Lee, Willingham rushed for 288 yards and scored five touchdowns, which puts him at third for both, Most Rushing Yards in a single game and Most Touchdowns in a Single Game and earned him Player of the Week honors from AllOnGeorgia.
Brought to you by Jim Aaron's Summerville McDonald's, Trion Bulldog's Hagen Willingham earns the Player of the Week honors after picking up over 300 yards of total offense and a stunning TD off of a blocked field goal attempt to seal the 40-34 win over arch-rival Gordon Lee. Willingham's 288 yards rushing puts him at #3 in the Trion history books for Single Game Rushing and his 5 total touchdowns is also #3 in school history for a single game.
Posted by All On Georgia – Chattooga on Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Willingham led the team on special teams where he racked up another 348 yards on 12 kickoff returns, averaging 29 yards per return and scoring one touchdown on special teams. He led the team in receiving yards with 24 catches for 301 yards averaging 12.5 yards a catch and scoring twice.
In total Hagen Willingham had a staggering 2,283 all-purpose yards.
“He had a season kids dream about,” Coach Justin Brown said. “He broke numerous records and helped lead us to an eight-win season.”
When asked about what his favorite moment of the season was, Willingham said, “honestly….it doesn’t have much to do with me, but the success of my guys on defense during the Wilcox game. Getting to watch my best friend for life, Braden Johnson get sack after sack was something I will never forget.”
17-year old Willingham says he will miss “the guys I have played with since I was seven…there’s something extra special about being seniors out on the field with all eyes on you. When you were once the little kids behind the bleachers playing tackle football.”
Hagen Willingham walks out of Sam R. McCain and into the history books.
Up next for Willingham…baseball where he plays 2nd base.