It’s hard enough to be talented at one sport or even two sports, but being a star on three — or even four — sports takes a whole different level of dedication.
But a pair of Reeltown seniors did just that. Leading the way for the softball team this season was Taniya Haynes, who was a three-sport starter and a stud on the track and field squad, and Logan Hunt was the catalyst for the baseball team’s success despite being both a starter on the football field and the basketball court.
Even Cade Wood, the only other senior for either team, was a successful member of Reeltown’s bass fishing team.
For the first few years of high school, Haynes settled for being one of the best players on both the volleyball and girls basketball teams as well as showing off her stuff once the Rebels reignited their track and field team. However, she played softball when she was younger and was convinced by some of her volleyball teammates to pick it up this year as a senior.
“Her competitive drive was just contagious,” Reeltown softball coach Kelli Hilyer said. “She always would say, ‘Coach, tell me what I can do to get better.’ In volleyball, she would actually come up to me and tell me she’d looked things up and wanted to know what I thought as far as dealing with coverages and things like that. When you talk about a student of the game, that’s definitely her.”
Haynes took up a starting spot in the outfield this year, usually in center, and also batted in the No. 2 hole.
“She was able to lay down those sacrifice bunts and she actually beat out quite a few of those, which goes to her being a great track star too,” Haynes said. “In whatever sport she plays, Taniya is a great leader and she did that again this season in softball.”
The same could be said for Hunt, who really showed off his leadership skills during the football season. After being beat out for the starting quarterback job, he stayed competitive and became one of the top linebackers. He also started on the basketball team and did a little bit of everything on the baseball diamond. He was the starting shortstop, a regular pitcher and the top hitter.
“There is nothing but up side to him and it’s only going to get bigger,” Reeltown baseball coach Trey Chambers said. “He’s been a huge part of our program, not just on the field but off the field as well. Hopefully the guys under him have learned and soaked in everything he brought to the program.”
Although Wood wasn’t quite as much of a standout as Haynes and Hunt, Chambers said Wood was the most improved player he’d seen in his two years as head coach. He played in center field and also became the go-to guy on the mound.
“He was our ace and he embraced that role,” Chambers said. “He really put together solid outings each time we called his name. Not that he was terrible when he started for me, but to see that from what he came from was just tremendous; it was truly one of those moments in coaching where this is why I do this. It was really special.”