First Posted: 4/14/2009
The late Donald Mack Haynes is described by friends and family as a man people couldnt help but like.
Haynes enjoyed a full and rich life before passing away 10 years ago, but it was not just his keen sense of humor and positive community influence which made him worthy of a Mount Airy Sports Hall of Fame acknowledgment; it was also his play on the field and his love for the game.
A standout football player for the Granite Bears from 1944 to 1947 under legendary coach Wallace Shelton, Haynes and his teammates enjoyed some of the most successful seasons in the schools history, earning Haynes an induction into the Greater Mount Airy Sports Hall of Fame this Saturday.
A bruising left tackle and defensive lineman, Haynes helped pave the way for a North Carolina state title in 1946 and another trip to the state title game a year later, where the Bears were defeated by Henderson.
Haynes was selected to the all-conference team during the 1947 season and was also selected to the Shrine Bowl.
He was a type of man who had a great sense of humor and just one of those persons that you like to be around, Haynes nephew Leon Haynes said recently. First and foremost he was a family man. He was really a devoted husband and father but he also had a passion for sports, especially football.
Haynes long time friend, teammate and now fellow Hall of Famer, Newton Corky Fowler, said his friend was someone who earned respect by his actions both on and off the field.
Great leader, great human being, Fowler said. Well liked by all people. He helped to develop younger people even while playing in high school. He was respected by all. My mother really liked him. He had a unique personality, you couldnt help but like him. But I can assure you this, the people on the other side of the playing field, they didnt like him.
Recruited by many leading college teams in North Carolina following his graduation, Haynes attended Appalachian State on a full scholarship and lettered in football for three years highlighted by the Mountaineers went 9-3 and defeated Catawba in the Pythian Bowl.
Mack was drafted out of college and spent two years in the Army before returning to college to complete his education and be named to the All-North State Conference team. After college he enjoyed a long career teaching and a coaching at North Mecklenburg High School.
Leon Haynes said he thinks his uncles desire to teach young people both academically and athletically was spurred by his immense respect for his high school coach, Wallace Shelton.
I think he was inspired by Wallace Shelton, who was a wonderful coach and man, and I think Mack wanted to pass along, Leon Haynes said. He had offers to go to Duke and NC State out of high school and he chose to go to Appalachian State because he wanted to coach and teach. One of the things he wanted to do was to instill those principles he learned from Coach Shelton into the students he taught and coached.
As a testament to Haynes success both as a player and as a coach, he is the only Mount Airy football alum to both play and coach in the Shine bowl, which pits the top high school seniors from North and South Carolina against each other each season.
Fowler said he and Haynes were both stationed Fort Jackson, S.C. during their stints in the Army and he and Haynes played on the bases football team, which boasted future and current professional players. Fowler said Haynes played right with the professionals.
Haynes and his late wife Peggy had two daughters Deborah and Vickie, as well as several grandchildren.
Fowler said he would be hard pressed to find a more well rounded and pleasant friend and football player than Haynes.
Mack is one of the finest football players in my opinion that has ever come from Mount Airy, he said. He was an outstanding person and had a sense of humor that was extremely unique. He loved people. Off the field he was outstanding and on the field he was a great ball player and a great leader.