Participating in and excelling at multiple sports is a factor of life many don't have the ability for. Maryville High School senior Jaden Hayes is an exception. Hayes is not only involved with a variety of school clubs and organizations, but his record-breaking soccer abilities put him at the top tier of athletic talent in his age group. This talent has allowed him to pursue his soccer career throughout travel teams and now onto his collegiate future.
Although his involvement with other sports and clubs keep him busy, Hayes’ true passion started with soccer. This talent and drive for the sport has led him to two district championships, a new Maryville and MSHSAA goal record at 10 goals in a single game and several college offers. A passion for the sport was embedded in him from a very young age.
“I've probably played most of my life,” Hayes said. “I started Maryville Parks and Recreation right here at Donaldson Westside Park, and then I went to a travel team in St. Joe, and that's where I was kind of like, ‘Oh, I like this.’ I played baseball and basketball a lot, and I picked up tennis my sophomore year, and I like that, but I'm trying to focus on soccer and grow as a player.”
Through years of training, traveling and competing with some of the best players and coaches in northwest Missouri, Hayes has acquired a reputation as a skilled and well-rounded player from the start. Before he even started his high school career, many in the Maryville community thought he would be the finishing touch to a traditionally successful Spoofhound roster.
“When I first coached Jaden years ago, I knew he was going to be special,” coach Dale Reuter said. “He had that drive and he had that want to do better. When he was a sophomore, it was seeing his talent grow there. When that skill is there, then it just helps us and we just move forward with that.”
Although Hayes stands out on the soccer pitch, he’s also viewed as a well-rounded student-athlete. The star midfielder participates in multiple clubs and organizations along with keeping up his grades and continuing to develop in the sport he loves.
Hayes has been a role model on the soccer team while also being a player to look up to for future Spoofhounds. Jaden's ability to have a continuous drive to succeed for everything that he does has allowed him to be well rounded in both athletics and academics and become somewhat of an ideal student-athlete.
“Anybody that wants to be successful, whether in life or in a sport, they take those traits that make them a great athlete and they use those in the classroom, at workplaces and things of that nature, and Jaden is that kind of a player,” Reuter said. “He does really good in the classroom because he's driven, and he wants to be successful in life, and he wants to be a successful soccer player.”
Although Hayes states that he has a drive and passion to succeed, he truly puts these desires to be the best to the test with his involvement in numerous sports and activities. The most recent example of this was during the Maryville versus Cameron game, Sept. 2 where Hayes racked up 10 goals, breaking a Maryville High School and MSHSAA record for most goals during a single game.
That milestone in Hayes’ soccer career solidified all of the hard work and effort he’s put into pursuing soccer in a serious manner. Breaking a record like that, not only for a single high school but for the entire state of Missouri, isn’t something that just comes along to any player.
“I really noticed it because I worked hard for this,” Hayes said. “I do a lot of work in the offseason; I have a travel team, and I work hard and stuff. I wanted to come in this year and do the best I can and scoring 10 goals is great; it's amazing. I can tell my kids ‘Hey, your dad scored 10 goals,’ and I think that'd be pretty cool.”
As the ‘Hounds near the halfway point in their 2019-20 season, Hayes and the rest of the seniors take a step back to acknowledge their past four years and start to focus on their futures after the season ends and graduation gets closer.
With graduation impending, the dream of furthering his soccer career at the collegiate level comes closer. After finishing all four years on the team and compiling many accomplishments, titles and trophies, Hayes looks back on his impact on the Spoofhound soccer team and the legacy he’ll leave behind.
While the season rolls on, college scouts are starting to appear more often to take a look at the skilled midfielder. Though Hayes has discussed opportunities with many colleges throughout the season, his skill and drive are the factors that attract everyone's attention and will be the lasting imprints on those around him before he makes his final decision as to where he’d like to take his talents next fall.
“He has a couple of really good looks right now,” Reuter said. “Some very good soccer teams are looking for him. I know he's got his mind made up on where he wants to go and they are taking a look at him. I'm just going to keep him grounded and go one day at a time and just focus on the big picture. I think if we’re successful then, then we’re right back in the hunt.”