Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Senior Spotlight: Riley Hayes

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
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As senior softball player Riley Hayes prepares to graduate on May 12th, she reminisces on all her hard work on and off the field.

“Softball really taught me about my strength and weaknesses.” Hayes said. “Coach Redburn sure did not sugar coat that for me, which I am happy with now!”

She believes that all the early weights and long practices really helped her develop into the woman she is today. Hayes describes her workouts as character building, and knows that her four years of playing softball for Southeast has helped her grown tougher than just have being a regular college student.

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“Softball held me accountable. It would have been easier to not do all the reps during morning lifts or eat junk food during season but, ultimately I was training for my teammates. I knew if I would have slacked off in any way, than it would have punished them as well.” Hayes said.

She’s proud of her perseverance, and uses the discipline softball has taught her every day. Hayes is also grateful that playing collegiate softball has helped her understand how to get along with different types of personalities on a team. Through all the dynamic teams she has been on, she now knows that saying one thing to one person could affect another person completely differently. This new understanding Hayes has acquired will pay off for what she plans on doing next school semester.

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As her new position requests, Riley Hayes will be going on staff at Arkansas State University with Campus Outreach. She plans on meeting and working with all types of students. Her goal is to explain to them who God is and help them find their way to Him as she did during her freshman year at Southeast.

“I’ve seen how much knowing God has had an impact on me, and I want to be able to share that joy and experience with these other students as well.” Hayes said.

Before Hayes became active with Campus Outreach here at Southeast, she remembers feeling empty. She said she would run to sports or school work, but it still would not fulfill her.

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“I grew up a Christian, but once I got I to college I did not have a church to attend on my own, so I just stopped going for a while.” Hayes said.

It wasn’t until one of of her teammates found out she was a Christian and invited her to attend church at Cape Bible Chapel, that she started going to weekly service. After that first visit to church she started going to Monday night bible studies and dove in head first to praying with this newfound group. From there she met some of her closest friends and found that there was more to life than just the material things or a single person’s aspirations.

“I want to do the same thing some woman did before me, and share the same experience to help create not only stronger women but faith-filled ones as well.” Hayes said.