Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Brotherly shove: Vaitais make running left the right thing to do for Haltom
HALTOM CITY - Scot Hafley doesn't care if you know the call.
In fact, the Haltom coach expects his opponents to know exactly what's coming when his team has the ball in short-yardage situations.
"We like to run left," he said. "Because it goes Vaitai, Vaitai, Vaitai over on the left side."
That's right. The guys behind the bread and butter of the Haltom offense all sit at the same dinner table.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai and his two younger brothers, twins Will and Kevin Vaitai, comprise the entire left side of the Haltom offensive line.
Halapoulivaati, who goes by "Big V," is older by 11 months, but the boys are all juniors because their parents started them in school at the same time.
Big V, the left tackle, stands 6-5, 250 pounds, while Will and Kevin go 6-3, 280 and 6-2, 260 at left guard and center, respectively.
But the brothers do not just bring size to the table. That was apparent to Hafley in their first spring practice in 2008.
"To see those boys lock up with Reggie [Wilson] and be able to block him on a fairly consistent basis told us just how good they were," Hafley said.
Wilson, a defensive end, is now in his first season at the University of Texas.
The Vaitais started every game for the Buffaloes last fall, and Big V was named the 2009 sophomore of the year in District 3-5A.
Not content with their performance, the brothers went out for the wrestling team in the winter at the advice of Hafley. And to their surprise, they were in for another steep learning curve, discovering early that their size was not all they would need to win.
"There was like a 5-6 guy, kind of chubby," Big V said. "I remember when I first went against him, he was like, 'Please go easy on me.' I didn't care what he said, and I just went hard.
"For some reason he got on my knees, then he took me out, then he pinned me."
However, it was not long before the brothers saw success in their new sport thanks to a work ethic instilled in them by their parents.
"[My mom] always wants us to work hard," Will said. "When you work hard, God will give you good things."
The brothers hope their hard work will one day result in them playing for the same college after playing on the same team for as long as they can remember. "Since Pee Wee," Kevin clarified.
Right now, the recruiting attention centers on Big V, who has verbal offers from Baylor and Texas Tech, according to Hafley.
But their immediate focus is on doing everything they can to help Haltom return to the playoffs. It made the postseason for the first time in nine years last season.
And Hafley and Haltom opponents know what that means.
"Run left," Hafley said. "It means we're going to run left for the next two years."
Height/Weight: 6-5, 250
Notable: "Big V," at 17, is the oldest of the brothers and the tallest. Coach Scott Hafley said that is the main reason he is garnering the most recruiting attention. His combination of size and speed off the ball have helped him lead the team in pancake blocks and earned him the nickname "Blindside" from quarterback Aaron Shockey.
Height/Weight: 6-3, 280
Notable: Will is "the brute of the group," according to Hafley. And he is the biggest talker of the three. But Will does not just talk the talk. "He's just strong. He's hard for people to move," Hafley said. "When he gets his hands on you, you're not going to get away.
Height/Weight: 6-2, 260
Notable: Hafley said Kevin is a combination of his two brothers on the field. Fellow linemen Harrison Goad sees another special trait in Kevin. "He definitely seems to be the strongest in leadership," he said. Goad considers Kevin to be "probably the best pass blocker on the field."