Senior Spotlight: Hayley Olivas
A role model who leads by example, Hayley Olivas has been playing softball since she was 11 years old. Her “late start” did not hinder her raw talent nor stop her from continuing her softball career after high school.
Most athletes who are committed to play at a level beyond high school have been playing for their whole lives, unlike Olivas. What stemmed from pure boredom led to her future being paid and secured. She played her first year in a recreational league and then leveled up to travel ball. When she first started playing she played almost every position up until two years ago when she made the switch to play just second and third base.
Apart from being involved with the Gahr Softball Program, she plays with her travel ball team, Explosion, coached by Donald Hagberg. Between the two, Hayley stated that she prefers her high school team as it is more fun and the people have more positive energy, since not everyone is trying to get recruited. When asked about how she felt about the girls on the team Hayley stated, “I love the girls, I like all of the different personalities.”
I personally have had the grand pleasure of being able to know Olivas. She is the definition of a leader: strong-willed and caring towards all her teammates; not to mention how intelligent Hayley also is. I admire her confidence and her skills. She truly is an amazing leader, player, and scholar!
Hayley committed to Loyola Marymount University on April 9th, 2022. She officially signed on November 20th, 2022. She chose this school because she “fell in love” with the campus upon her visit and knew it was for her. She also loved how it was close to home. While at LMU, she plans to study sociology. After that, she plans to become a correctional officer. “I want to work especially with kids.”
Whenever she finds herself with some free time, Hayley spends it either baking or spending time with her friends or family - not to forget spending time with her dog as well.
Just like most other athletes go through a rough patch with their sport, so did Hayley. She even contemplated hanging up her cleats! She said,“Any athlete goes through a time where they feel tired and burnt out.” Over a break of not playing she missed the sport and the action. Upon those feelings, she realized she could not quit the sport and decided to stay.
Her family is her biggest motivation, “I just want to do good and make them proud.” Along that note, her father is her biggest supporter. “Although he isn't as affectionate as other dads, he explains things to me really [well].” He has always been there to support her.
Olivas is excited about her future and cannot wait to not only further her education but also study at the school of her dreams and play the sport she fell in love with.