Ellis having continued success off the field
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The cliché of winning on and off the field is as old as sports reporting, but Hayden Ellis exemplifies these qualities.
If one were to look up the Marshall University softball team, Ellis would be found listed on the roster. And upon clicking on Ellis’ name, one would find basic information about her: sophomore, 5 feet 6 inches tall, lives in Ashville, Ohio and went to Teays Valley High School, plays catcher. And upon looking a little farther, there will be found a record of Ellis’ achievements: appeared in 30 softball games, 2016 NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete, 2016 Conference USA Academic Medalist, 2016 Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
What it doesn’t list on the Marshall website are the hours of practice, study, travel and service that fill Ellis’ hectic schedule.
Ellis says she loves visiting new places and universities in many states, but it’s difficult to keep up with school work and other pieces of her life while constantly traveling to games.
Added to this travel are the hours of service work the softball team invests in together. Volunteer work is an important part of solidifying the softball team’s community and impacting those outside the team.
“Volunteering is very important to our coach, she wants to do as much as she can to help the university and the community within it,” Ellis said. “It is a huge part because we don’t want to be known as just the softball team, but as a team that has good leaders, role models, and good influences.”
The softball team participates in many volunteer activities, softball season or not.
“This year we helped with two 5k’s, we helped clean up around the Women’s Center, volunteered at a church to help with basketball tryouts, cleaned up around campus, on the west end of Huntington, did a walk on Veterans Day, visited with veterans in the hospital to give them some company, and participated in the memorial and a few other things,” Ellis said.
Ellis’ favorite service activity was the team’s visit to the Veteran’s Hospital, where she spent time listening to veterans’ stories.
“They taught us a lot of lessons, just about life, and appreciation and experience,” Ellis said.
Ellis’ softball season is scheduled through mid-May but her community service will continue throughout the year.
Caroline Kimbro can be contacted at [email protected]