Kaden Hastie was a running back in youth football because he was fast and fearless.
He was a quarterback in freshman football because he was smart and instinctive.
He has put all those qualities together as a senior to become one of the most productive wide receivers in South Jersey.
"Of all the kids out here, no one deserves it more than him," Seneca coach Bill Fisher said the other day before a Golden Eagles practice. "He's put the work in. He's one of the hardest-working kids I've ever coached."
Hastie leads South Jersey with 11 touchdown catches. He also has 50 receptions for 731 yards, second in both categories to Woodrow Wilson's Stanley King (53 catches, 948 yards, 10 touchdowns), a Louisville recruit.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Hastie has caught a touchdown pass in every game for Seneca (2-4), which will visit Triton (4-2) in a West Jersey Football League National Division clash on Friday.
Over the last five games, Hastie has generated these receiving-yardage totals: 113, 166 (with three touchdowns), 170 (with two touchdowns), 119, and 132 (with three touchdowns).
"It's unexplainable," Seneca junior quarterback Malin Jasinski said. "He's quick. He's fast. He's smart. He knows all the windows, all the ways to get open."
Fisher said Hastie has an "amazing knack" for getting open, even as defenses begin to shade coverage in his direction.
Hastie said Jasinski, who has thrown for 1,125 yards and 16 touchdowns, has been the key to his success.
"I credit my quarterback," Hastie said. "He's looking for me all the time."
Hastie and Jasinski worked diligently during the summer to strengthen their timing and rapport.
"He would text me all the time that he was working out, and I was like, 'I'm there,' " Jasinski said.
Hastie caught 21 passes for 255 yards and one touchdown as a junior. He also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. He has taken his game to another level this season.
"He just worked so hard this summer, going to camps and clinics, doing everything he could," Fisher said. "He's self-made."
Hastie said he was driven to work hard in advance of this season because of his hopes of playing college football. He has been in contact with several college programs at the NCAA Division II and Division III levels, as well as Ivy League program Brown.
"I know I've been under the radar," Hastie said.
Hastie grew up in Seneca's district and played for the Golden Eagles' youth program from age five until the eighth grade. He was a quarterback for the Seneca freshman team in 2015 then moved to wide receiver as a sophomore.