Salina South’s Jackson Hayes – Athlete of the Month Presented by Salina Imaging Center

Salina South student-athlete Jackson Hayes has quickly made a name for himself as an all-around solid athlete on the basketball court and the football field. Hayes is the shooting guard for the varsity team, but would not be opposed to playing the paint.

“I have been playing basketball for as long I can remember, ever since I could figure out how to dribble a ball I was out there shooting baskets. I play shooting guard for my team, but I wish my coach would play me at post once in a while,” said Hayes.

Playing for Salina South brings out his passion for both games thanks to the fans and the atmosphere.

“Playing for Salina South is unlike any other team, the atmosphere around practices and games is the best around. We get serious when we need to be but we’re always having fun,” said Hayes. “I love the energy about my team and teammates the most. We can turn the smallest things into something great and it’s never a dull moment with this group of guys.”

Hayes said he was raised to place academic achievements higher than athletics ones, and Hayes has followed that mantra throughout his high school career.

“I’ve always been raised to put my academics first, my grades are my top priority as I know they will be the key to my future. I plan on attending Kansas State University after I graduate and getting my bachelors degree in criminal justice,” said Hayes. “When school was still in session my favorite class was psychology, studying individuals emotions and brain functions are super interesting. I hope in the future I can use that information to help me with whatever I end up doing as a career. My favorite teacher is hands down Mr. Stover, he’s a great guy who thoroughly cares about his students grades while also keeping it fun, and he never fails a wave check.”

He is also a member of STUCO and serves as junior class secretary.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to be apart of such a great group of people. I would like to say thank you to Mrs. Chamberlain who is our student council leader because she is always working hard to make sure that Salina South is a great place to be,” said Hayes.

Hayes pointed to several people who have played major roles in getting him this far in life. From coaches to grandparents, they all have influenced him in big ways.

“My biggest influence on the field is Herman Hill. If there is one thing he has taught me as a teammate it’s to never give up, he’s shown a great amount of resilience and courage when we play, and he can always motivate his team to be better. When practices were rough we could all count on Herman to push us through it and to get better as a unit,” said Hayes. “My biggest influence off the field is my grandma mother. She’s fought and won numerous battles with cancer, and through the whole journey she never once stopped caring for others. My grandma Jan is the strongest person I’ve ever met, I hope that one day I can be like her.”