CCHS football standout Tate Haynes takes on a new role

The quarterback of Cathedral Catholic’s football team helped pull off one of the most stunning comebacks in state championship history.

Tate Haynes drew on summer camp training drills with ex-Marines and team meetings with a sports psychologist that instilled in him and his teammates the indefatigable mindset that they enlisted in overcoming a 14-point fourth quarter deficit in 38-35 overtime victory over St. Mary’s of Stockton in the Dec. 16 Open Division 1-AA championship game at Sacramento State.

The comeback win culminated a perfect 15-0 season.

“We had been down before,” Tate said. “I don’t think there were many people that didn’t think we were going to win that game.”

Tate, now an incoming Boston College freshman prospect, is taking on a new role outside of sports.

Tate is spending part of his summer teaming up with his father, NFL Hall of Famer Mike Haynes, on a prostate cancer awareness campaign.

Mike Haynes is a prostate cancer survivor.

The Urology Care Foundation (the official foundation of the American Urological Association) sponsors the campaign annually in June, which is Men’s Health Month.

It is the first time Tate has been involved in the campaign, appearing with his father on radio and TV interviews.

Mike Haynes, now 63, was 55 at the time of his diagnosis. His doctors caught the disease early and were able to treat it.

Tate said his father played a big role in his football and life development.

The young football prospect is also a talented musician, playing piano and guitar, performing at private parties.

“He really just helped me more as a life coach the last four years,” Tate said. “I can’t even imagine what my high school career would have been like without dad around.”

It is an important reason why Tate has joined the campaign.

His goal is to help educate people about the disease and encourage men to discuss it with their doctors.

“For dads who are listening, anything that’ll just get them to have a simple conversation with the doctor, it all starts with a simple conversation,” Tate said.

The conversation could save lives.

Mike Haynes acknowledged that the disease didn’t register on his radar at the time of his diagnosis.

“When I was diagnosed with the disease I’d never heard of prostate cancer, I didn’t even know where a prostate was located in my body,” he said. “I had no idea what the organ actually did for me.”

As a teenager, Tate is not at risk of developing the disease anytime soon. But his involvement in the awareness campaign can make an important difference, recruiting young people to be involved in a conversation that impacts family members of those who experience the disease.

“It affects families, so the more people who know about the disease, men and women, boys and girls, the more likely they’re going to catch the disease when it’s treatable. That’s really the goal, that’s our goal, to change the discussion, to change the amount of the discussions.

“The more young people we can get involved and the more women we can get involved, the more the message can spread.”

Tate counts his father’s presence in his life as a blessing. Having an NFL Hall of Famer to learn about the game from across the dinner table is a resource few have. Through his father, Tate has met other former and current NFL standouts, including Tom Brady.

He’ll continue to draw on what he’s learned from his father as he takes his career to the East Coast.

“I’m excited, it’ll be a new chapter in my life,” Tate said. “It’ll be tough leaving home but I’m excited about Boston and the new opportunities and new friendships that I’m going to build.”

He’ll also draw on his experience being part of a season for the ages at Cathedral Catholic.

“It’s great if your team is really close, and it’s great if you have a team with great athletes, but if you have a team with great athletes and they’re all best friends, it’s like a match made in heaven for a perfect season.”