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4 Sep 2013

Mercer Football Safety Spends Summer Serving

Mercer Football Safety Spends Summer Serving

Originally posted by Susan Codone on

Georgia AAU Baseball District Director, Roy Hattaway, and his wife Nyssa, have raised their six children in an household where volunteerism is a way of life. Roy’s 19-year-old son, Seth, was a fixture at the AAU Grand Nationals at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort as a scorekeeper, helping out at Registration, assisting the tournament staff, and generally doing anything that needed to be done during the two-week period.

That spirit of volunteerism is a deeply embedded thread in Seth’s character fabric as illustrated in a feature article (courtesy of Susan Codone) of The Mercer Bears – The Official Web Site of Mercer University Athletics. He is certainly a positive role model for young athletes in his community. The AAU congratulates Seth and hopes to see him continue to volunteer throughout his life.

MACON, Ga. - After Seth Hattaway graduated from Mount De Sales in 2012, he seriously contemplated attending Brigham Young, but chose Mercer University instead. With that fateful decision, Mercer gained not only an exceptional athlete, but a young man willing to stay home and serve his community.

Hattaway, a strong safety for the Bears, grew up in Macon playing multiple sports, mostly for his father Roy, a fixture at North Macon Park. After years of being coached by his dad on about thirty different teams in three different sports, Seth has literally been raised as a competitive athlete. Two other childhood coaches, Damie Waddell and Michael Knapp, also taught Seth to be physical but smart on the field, two skills Seth has brought in abundance to Mercer Football.

After his freshman year at Mercer, Seth and his teammates have focused their energies on giving back to their hometown. One project has been the Backpack Ministry, where Seth and other Mercer football players packed food into bags and distributed it to people who needed food assistance. Seth and his teammates also cleared trash from downtown Macon, waking down streets in their football gear to show that Mercer Football cares about the community. In the process, Seth was able to clean streets near his elementary school, high school, and the hospital where his mom works.

At the end of the spring semester, Seth took his Mercer Football experience to Alexander II elementary school, speaking to students along with his best friend, roommate, and teammate Ryan Knapp and the Mercer football position coach, Dominique Davenport. Mrs. Phyllis Stokes, Seth's former sixth grade teacher at Alexander II, asked him to return to speak to her current sixth graders about demonstrating positive behavior and earning good grades.

After speaking to Mrs. Stokes' class, Seth stated, "I thought it was really awesome to see different chapters of my life collide with the chapter I'm in now. It honestly does not seem like long at all since I was in the same classrooms as them. It was great to prepare to talk to them about positive behavior and good grades because I think I got more out of it than they did. All of this was important to me because it is all in my town and that makes the community service easy to do. It also really helps Mercer football's journey as our players get out and help the people who will be supporting our team."

Seth says that despite initially being attracted to Brigham Young, Mercer "just felt right". Now he says that he's fallen in love with Mercer and its people and has found comfort in his decision to choose Mercer. He says he wants to be a coachable player and teammate able to step in and do whatever job asked of him. So far, Seth has done his work quite well, winning the Most Improved Defensive Player award. Typical of his humility, Seth says the award is a tribute to his coaches who worked with him to improve.

Brigham Young may have missed out on Seth Hattaway, but Mercer has gained a hometown son eager to build Mercer football and give back to the community that raised him. He knows that Mercer's first team in over 70 years has high expectations from fans, and he believes the team's goals of honesty, accountability, trust, and discipline will set the mark for future Bears.

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