Hayes dives through senior season


Toy Hayes is diving his way through his senior year.

Hayes has been diving ever since his freshman year at LaPorte, which has led him to being the talented diver he is today. 

Last year on average, Hayes placed anywhere from first to third each meet, with a point average of around 200.  Hayes even made it all the way to Regionals where he placed 14th.

“I felt extremely overwhelmed, and it was really out of my comfort zone. It was a really cool experience,” Hayes said.

Hayes’ road to Regionals and to the top of many podiums had an interesting start. A fall off the diving board freshman year in gym class sparked a new passion, and the rest is history.

Hayes coaches have made a huge impact on his diving career. Jessie Furness, assistant dive coach, always gives good advice and is laid back. R.J. Walpole, head dive coach, in a way is like a dad to all the divers, and Hayes believes that is very important. 

“R.J. and Jessie have been like best friends to me, and they push me to be a better me,” Hayes said.

Hayes hopes that this season he will make it to Regionals and even State which would be the perfect ending to a strong career.

Hayes has been a strong and respected member of the team, especially to his coaches.

“Toy is a prime example of what coming with no skills as a freshman, with work and dedication to becoming a top level diver his senior year,” Walpole said.

Besides diving for the high school, Hayes is in his fourth year as a dive coach for the middle school swim and dive team. Coaching the middle school is important to Hayes because the kids have pure talent, and he enjoys getting the opportunity to coach them.

“There are a lot of good students on that team. In a couple of years we’re going to have a great team,” Hayes said. 

Slicer fans can come support Hayes and his fellow team mates at the next home meet against Elkhart Central High School on Saturday December 12.

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