Family matters

Hays’ dad inspires softball success


Kylie King

Sophomore Maycee Hays catches the pitch for strike three. Hays caught a majority of the games this season.

For some athletes, their motivation to play sports is to be the starter out on the field, court or mat. For sophomore softball player Maycee Hays, her motivation is her dad.

“I [play] for him because he’s dedicated all that time to it,” Maycee said.

Maycee’s dad, Kelly Hays, has been coaching Maycee for nine-plus years. He always pushed her to be her best, she said.

During the season and when they get time off, Kelly helps Maycee with all aspects of the game. 

“During the off-season, we work on hitting in the cages and practicing a few times a week. I drive her wherever she needs to go,” Kelly said. “During the season, I try and help her with the mental aspect of the game, how to lessen the stress or frustrations when difficulties arise.” 

Currently, practice is paying off this season, with Maycee batting .460 and hitting fifth in the lineup. She is also catching almost every game.

Maycee and Kelly also share game-day rituals. One of them is that they send game-day GIFs over text messages. Maycee said that it gets her hyped up and ready for the night.

Sophomore Maycee Hays poses with her parents, Kelly and Jessica Hays, after the Yutan-Mead Patriots won the District Championship game. Maycee caught and hit for the team during the two games against the Aquinas Monarchs. (Courtesy Photo)


“He’s always standing out in the left field…it’s just nice seeing him out there every single game because he’s my biggest supporter,” Maycee said. 

Yutan-Mead Patriots head coach Ryan Glatter has noticed that the extra coaching and support are paying off.

“Maycee is a future leader,” Glatter said. “Being young on the team, everyone looks to Maycee to make plays. Leading by the way she practices and plays is her style.” 

Kelly also said that no matter how well she plays, Maycee’s always looking to get better and learn. 

“There are times where she hits on her own down at the cages every night of the week,” Kelly said.

All of this dedication makes Maycee a huge asset to the team. 

“She’s going to leave her mark on Patriot softball,” Glatter said.