Brody Hayes Shines at West Shrine Bowl: MVP Performance and Future Plans

By Jayson Henderson

Clay Center, Kansas — Brody Hayes, a standout athlete from Clay Center, recently showcased his talents at the West Shrine Bowl, earning the title of MVP for his exceptional performance. The event, which took place on June 23rd, highlighted Hayes’ skills on the field and his commitment to teamwork and community.

In an exclusive interview with KCLY, Hayes detailed his experience leading up to the game. “Basically, it would have been the 23rd of June. I went to Fort Hays State, and that’s where our camp was all week,” he shared. The week was packed with activities, including practices and bonding events. “We practiced at Fort Hays and stayed in the dorms from Sunday to Thursday,” he recounted. After their final practice at Fort Hays, the team traveled to Emporia State University, where they participated in various events, including an All-Star showcase and autograph signing.

Describing the showcase, Hayes said, “One practice and then the All-Star showcase that night, which was basically introducing all the players, other sports that were involved with the Shrine Bowl. That was a pretty cool event. We signed autographs and saw our family”.

The festivities also included a parade on Saturday morning, which Hayes found memorable. “Saturday morning, we had the parade, so that was the cheerleaders, the band, us. That was pretty cool” . This event added to the overall excitement and sense of community surrounding the Shrine Bowl.

On the day of the game, Hayes made a significant impact. Early in the second half, he returned a punt for a 30-yard touchdown, a play that shifted the momentum in favor of his team20 I think the 30 yard punt return touchdown we got a we actually got a hand on it. “We actually got a hand on it one of our guys. So it was kind of blocked so it didn’t go very far. And so I was kind of the short returner. So I picked it up. But yeah, it was about 30 yards and that was right out of this. That was right at the beginning of the second-half. So that was that kind of got us to momentum to try and get back in that game.” he explained. Hayes also contributed defensively, finishing the game with 12 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and a pass breakup.

Hayes described the moment he was named MVP: “We were shaking hands after the game, and then all of a sudden, somebody grabs my arm and says, ‘Brody, can you come to midfield with me real quick?’ And I was like, ‘What for?’ And they’re like, ‘You’ll see.’ And I walked up, and I saw the MVP plaque. A guy was holding the MVP plaque, and I was like, ‘No way. That’s unreal.’”

He added, “It doesn’t go to a defensive player very often usually it’s going to be a quarterback or a wide receiver that does well so I was really surprised and then my family ‘s trying to talk to me but I couldn’t because I was getting this announcement and they saw it finally and they were they were in shock and all happy for me so it was it was a really surreal. Experience.”

Looking ahead, Hayes has committed to playing football at Washburn University. The decision came after a lengthy recruitment process, during which he received multiple offers. That they had better facilities and it was closer to home and I I just I felt like that was

where I needed to be and I think that Washburn gives me the best chance to become my best self and best player.” he said. Hayes plans to major in health and fitness promotion, with a minor in coaching. His long-term goal is to help athletes and individuals achieve their fitness and athletic goals, potentially as a strength and conditioning coach.

Throughout his journey, Hayes has been supported by his family, coaches, and the community of Clay Center. He expressed deep gratitude for their encouragement and support. “I hope I made them proud and continue to do so at the next level,” he said.

Throughout his Journey, Hayes has been supported by his faily, coaches, and the community of Clay Center. He expressed deep gratitude for their encouragement and support.

“Yeah, I’d like to thank my parents for supporting me through the whole process. I mean, they’ve been amazing. They’ve done everything that I’ve needed and paid for a lot of things that they didn’t need to. They really helped me a lot.”

“My grandparents have always helped me out as well. They’re busy all the time, but they make time for me. They’re just always supporting me throughout their schedule.”

“And then my coaches at the high school: Head Coach Mark Henry, my dad who was an assistant coach—I’m very thankful for him—and one of my assistant coaches, JD Lane, who’s been there forever. I learned a lot from him. He has a lot of wisdom to share, so he was awesome to have as a coach.

“My strength coach at the high school, Coach Dalton Haist, really helped me out. He opened the weight room for me all the time. He was a college athlete, so he could give me advice on what it’s like. He’s been through all that, so I’d like to thank him.”

“And then I’d just like to thank the town of Clay Center for all of their support of me. I can go anywhere in town, basically, and people have heard of the stuff I’ve done, and they’re going to talk to me about it and congratulate me. It’s really good knowing that I have that support around me. I hope I made them proud, and I hope I continue to make them proud at the next level because they’ve meant the world to me and they’ve helped me get to where I am. I’m just very grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had and the support I’ve had through those opportunities.”

As Hayes embarks on this new chapter, his determination and passion for football remain strong. Whether on the field or in his future career, Brody Hayes is committed to excellence and making a positive impact.

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