Kaleb Hatt picked for Shriners game

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Kaleb Hatt, a senior at Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, has been selected to play in the Shriners All-Star football game. — Amy Jacques Purdy

Senior Kaleb Hatt, a two-way player and team captain for the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School football team, has been selected for the Shriners All-Star Game, scheduled for June 17 at Gillette Stadium.

Kaleb was nominated by his coach, Donald Herman, who coached Kaleb for four years at MVRHS. Kaleb didn’t start playing football until he was in junior high. “He came and basically fell in love with the sport during his eighth-grade year,” Herman told The Times.

While he got some playing time as a freshman, Kaleb continued to grow and blossom into a regular on the team on both sides of the ball, as an offensive and defensive lineman.

Herman said a player who makes the Shriners game has to be a senior, has to be a league All-Star, and has to be nominated by a coach who is part of the Massachusetts Coaches Association. Kaleb likely got nominated by a couple of opposing coaches as well, Herman said.

“It’s quite an honor. It’s recognition for the work he’s done,” Coach Herman said. 

Herman said Kaleb is a great kid from a great family.

“Kaleb’s success in football is a credit to his outstanding family unit, led by Julie and Peter Hatt,” he said. “When you combine the following: a supportive family, a strong work ethic, an unselfish attitude, solid character, self-discipline, and concern for others, the result is Kaleb Hatt. Kaleb represents all that is good with football and sports.”

Kaleb is the ninth Vineyarder selected to play in the game. He joins David Araujo (1984), Greg Belcher (1995), Mac Schilcher (2003), James Rebello (2004), Josh Paulsen (2008), Mike McCarthy (2009), Randall Jette (2011), and Delmont Araujo (2012). Herman coached in the game in 2008.

Players will go through an orientation where they will learn about the Shriners organization and its work with burn victims. They’ll also practice for two weeks ahead of the North versus South showdown at Gillette. 

“It’s a great experience,” Coach Herman said, as well as an emotional one. “It’s exciting. I’m happy for Kaleb. It’s good for our program.”

You don’t have to be a player going on to play in college, but many of the players are, Herman said. As for Kaleb, he is looking to continue playing at a Division 3 school in the fall, and is considering either Westfield State or Plymouth State, the coach said.

Peter and Julie Hatt are proud of their son’s accomplishments. “It’s awesome he’s going to the Shriners game,” Peter Hatt said. “Kaleb always does the right thing. He never missed a practice, and always worked hard. It’s nice for him to get recognized.”

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