JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) – David Crockett’s Connor Hackney learned his love for music from his dad at an early age.

“I know that my dad has a history with music,” Hackney recalled. “He was actually in his middle school band, he played the same instrument I did – saxophone.”

But, while Mr. Hackney switched later in life to playing guitar, Connor stuck with the sax.

“I definitely liked how it sounded and just the persona that surrounds it,” he said.

Once in high school, Hackney joined the marching band. But, his teachers quickly realized that he had what it took to be more than just a member of the band.

“I never really planned on being in leadership, but then Mr. [Josh] Ogle came up to me in my freshman year and asked me to try out for drum major,” Hackney remembered, “and of course I didn’t think I had a chance.”

Hackney didn’t earn the spot as a freshman or a sophomore, but during that time he learned from those in the position – including his good friend, Carson Duckworth.

“He had that kind of just influence,” Hackney explained. “He looked like a leader, he acted like a leader – he was very charismatic. He had a lot of respect from everyone around him. I think that really kind of drew me to that, because he was a big inspiration to me.”

This year, Hackney’s junior year, his moment to be drum major finally came. The transition into such a leadership role was tough, at first.

“I wasn’t very open, I was timid – I didn’t know exactly what to,” he admitted.

But slowly, Hackney settled in – taking on more responsibility and facing challenges head-on. By the end of the season, the band turned in one of its most successful campaigns in quite some time.

“We got first place in a competition and second place in another in our class,” he said. “I think that was probably the most rewarding part – just being able to see that success play out.”

When Hackney wasn’t running band rehearsals – he was running. He joined the cross country team on the recommendation of one of his friends. It was a perfect fit – except for one small detail.

“Oh, I don’t like to run,” Hackney said matter-of-factly.

It was his teammates that kept him coming back to practices and meets.

“It gets your mind off things a lot and just the team that surrounds you, I think, is also a big deal,” he said.

Hackney is also a member of David Crockett’s Key Club, as he helps with the school’s Clothes Closet and other fundraisers.

Efforts like these seem to strike a chord with the young man’s values.

“When you’re doing something it can’t just be for your benefit,” he said. “I think it has to be for the benefit of other people and to help out other people.”