GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A 10-year-old from Plainwell is determined to win a national mullet competition that helps wounded soldiers.

It all started at a baseball diamond: Emmett Haire decided to do something to stand out. In the last 18 months, he grew his hair out into a mullet and got it permed.

“Nobody else has a mullet except me and they all love it,” Emmett said. “And some people actually tried to grow a mullet because of mine.”

Emmett Haire shows off his mullet. (Courtesy Shauana Haire)
Emmett Haire shows off his mullet. (Courtesy Shauna Haire)

After getting many compliments and the nickname Kenny Powers — a reference to the TV show “Eastbound & Down” — Emmett’s dad told him to apply for the USA Mullet Championships. Emmett said he wants to win for his dad, who is overseas serving in the air force.

“My dad is now bringing me along the way and he’s been a huge support for the competition and everything,” Emmett said.

As of Monday, Emmett and his mullet were ranked 24th out of hundreds of mullets across the country.

“I feel absolutely amazing out of all those 800 kids of just being on the top 33,” Emmett said.

If he stays in the top 33, he will move on to the next round of the championships and get a chance to win it all.

His mom Shauna Haire said this journey has helped her son come out of his shell.

“He’s such a good kid and everyone, all of his friends and anyone that has met him sees that,” she said. “It’s amazing.”

Along with judging mullets, the competition is raising money for Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors. Shauna Haire said the cause hits close to home for her family because her husband has served with many people who were injured and could use help.

“They build these beautiful homes for these veterans that have gone through so much and they take so much off the family’s plate by giving them a handicap-accessible home and it’s wonderful,” she said.

No matter what happens at the end of the competition, Emmett said he has made up his mind. The mullet is not going to last forever.

“If I win or get knocked out, you know, I’m definitely going to cut it off and definitely give it to a charity,” Emmett said.

Emmett moved on to the second round of the competition in seventh place in his age group. To move on to the next round, he must finish in the top 25. You are able to vote for your favorite mullet once every day. The second round ends July 24 at midnight.