Del Norte Running back, Manai Hazlett is cancer free and back on the field
Back in 2018, Manai Hazlett was having the time of his life on the field for the Del Norte Nighthawks. 15 hundred rushing yards, 13 touchdowns, and he was only a sophomore. But in April of 2019, Hazlett’s big run had to take a detour. Manai was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Even with this new obstacle, Hazlett never lost focus on his love for the game.
On the November 8th, during the Del Norte vs Pathrick Henry game, Manai announced the news we’ve all been waiting to hear, he is officially cancer-free. Now he’s back on the field, working out with his Del Norte teammates, but his return comes at a difficult time, a time where we are all facing the unknown of covid-19. The senior back is healthier than ever and ready for a 2020 winter season.
“It was a really good feeling I mean, I was looking forward to it for a long time. What cancer has taught me is a lot of patience. I get pretty tired pretty easily. Its like starting all over again. I don’t like taking breaks from football after I miss so much but I just persevered and my friends were there to help support me” said Hazlett. When asked about how he feels being back out on the field with a pandemic going on and having to follow new safety regulations Hazlett said, “I trust the coaches and all the precautions they are taking, I feel good about being here. Just getting back in the game again and winning some games with my friends and just being with the team.”
“We expected him to fully recover and he has. He got the clearance from the doctors to workout and they said he could work out and he can do anything and I was like ‘wait what’ and I asked his dad ‘is it okay’ and hes like ‘yeah he can do anything, get him going coach.’ He is just amazingly strong kid, this quiet strength. He doesn’t say a whole lot but when he says something it really means a lot to everybody. Just having him there and able to do it and feeling confident about it with a doctors clearance we are good to go and we are excited” said head coach Leigh Cole.
Cole added, “I’m not sure if you know this but hes our single season rushing record holder and hes a single game rushing record holder so we are hoping to get a little bit of that back as well”.