Landen Hatchett, younger brother of University of Washington offensive lineman Geirean Hatchett, isn't one to make excuses or try to slide on his sibling's reputation.
When the pandemic-related shutdown took away valuable evaluation camps and delayed his Ferndale High School football season, the 6-foot-2, 280-pound sophomore took every opportunity to get bigger, faster, stronger — setting ambitious goals that have kept him focused.
"As soon as the season got pushed back the first time, I obviously wasn’t super happy about it," he said. "I immediately turned my mindset that it’s just more time to improve myself."
The combined center and nose guard for the class of 2023 began working toward breaking some of Ferndale's weightlifting records.
"I was in the weight room up to six days a week," he said.
The weightlifting records have stood since the 1970s. However, because of COVID-19 protocols at Ferndale, the school's strength and conditioning coach hasn't been able to officially test Hatchett's progress. He knows he's got to be close.
"I'm over 315 on the power clean," he said.
If that's the case, Hatchett should move past one-time, state-champion wrestler Robin Finkbonner, whose weightlifting records have stood since the Jimmy Carter administration.
Hatchett also is eyeing Finkbonner's colossal 580-pound dead-lift record.
"It's within reach," he said.
While he thought his sophomore football season wasn't going to happen in Ferndale, Washington, which is 100 miles north of Seattle and 10 miles south of the Canadian border, he's worked out as much as possible.
"Along with the weight training, I did position work, agility and conditioning six days a week on my own," he said.
With this work ethic firmly in place for Hatchett and his teammates, they were ready to go when Ferndale football resumed this spring.
"Our first day of practice was better than any first days I've seen us have," he said. "We were focused and had a lot of built-up energy to let out."
In the second game of the season against Lynden, the Golden Eagles came up with an impressive 28-19 victory over their rival.
However, the next week, Ferndale suffered a letdown and lost to Sehome 10-5, falling just short of a go-ahead touchdown at the end.
The younger Hatchett wasn't happy about this, with himself as a team captain, with the guy who's been living in the weight room.
"I have to do better," he said. "The loss made us better mentally. [But] we knew that we didn't play to our potential."
Hatchett and his teammates closed out the season by beating Mount Vernon, Burlington and Sedro Woolley by a combined score of 136-63 to finish 5-1.
Success came down to focusing on details and demanding discipline. Hatchett tries to bring this to the field, regardless of which side of the ball he's on, or whether it's in practice or in games.
"Things need to be crisp," he said. "Even when we break the huddle, if the clap's sloppy we bring it back in."
Hatchett even called for a re-clap in the game against Lynden, a team the Golden Eagles hadn't beaten since 2017.
As the brother of Geiran, a highly sought-after recruit and now a redshirt freshman offensive guard at the UW, this younger Hatchett is big showing leadership, even as a sophomore. It goes well beyond weightlifting records.
"We were completely out of synch on our clap," Landen said. "We captains have to keep the team focused, so I brought the huddle back and we redid the break."
It helped refocus Ferndale and lead to the big win.
Had fans been in attendance, they might have answered that more precise clap with deserved applause.