HUMBOLDT — Humboldt football players Conor Haviland and Joshua Hull have spent years battling in the trenches together. The duo currently fights together at least twice a week during basketball.
Now they must turn their friendship into a rivalry for the next four years, as the two will go against each other in the Mid-America Athletics Association (MIAA).
Haviland, who rushed for more than 2,436 yards during his senior year and in excess of 5,000 for his prep career, will be taking his talents to Pittsburg State. Haviland was a multi-sport star for the Cubs. Hull, who was a star on both offense and defense, will be an offensive tackle at Emporia State.
The duo signed with their respective schools on Feb. 5, which was National Signing Day.
“It feels very good to have signed,” Haviland said. “(PSU) has great facilities, coaches are really cool and I have a lot of friends down there. I think I will be able to fit right in.”
Haviland played quarterback for the Cubs last season, while playing as a running back the previous two years.
The senior was a three-time All-State selection during his time at Humboldt.
“They brought me in as a running back; if they want to put me in as a defensive back, I would not be opposed to that. I had other offers but I like Pitt a lot more than the other schools,” he said. “You can get scholarships with Crossland Construction, which is what I hope to do.”
Both of the Cubs helped their team to a 21-2 record over the last two years.
“We are rivals now. We are going to playing against each other,” Haviland said with a laugh. “It is kind of hard to believe.”
Hull, a 6’5”, 260-pound offensive lineman, was a beast on both sides of the ball.
Hull said it was a relief to be done with the recruiting process. He was also recruited to the University of Kansas as a preferred walk-on. Hull was a two-time All-State offensive lineman for the Cubs. He was equally impressive on the defensive front.
“I committed to Emporia State a couple of weeks ago and I just really didn’t want anyone to know. But coaches were still reaching out to me. The recruiting process was a burden,” Hull said. “It felt like every coach in America — even though it wasn’t — were blowing my phone up every night. So I committed to Emporia and it got a little weight off my back, because I could tell coaches I was going there. I started doing better in school and on the basketball court, though the results may not show up.”
Hull said he doesn’t know many players in the recruiting class, but likes the players currently playing for the Hornets.
“It feels good. I didn’t really talk to the guys, at least the signing class much. We have a group chat, but I never really got involved with that. But I really like the guys I will be playing with.”
Hull said future battles against Haviland will be fun.
“We will always be fine, the two of us,” he said while trying to hold in a laugh. “It’s hard to believe we will be competing against each other at this point. I guess we will see when we get there.”
Emporia State went 4-7 in 2019, while the Gorillas went 6-5. The two will face off early next season.