Maryville College Head Baseball Coach Cody Church held a press conference on Wednesday to announce that Hayden Hayes, a student at Christian Academy of Knoxville, completed his 2018 recruiting class while representing Team Impact.
Team Impact is a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes.
"Hayden epitomizes what we want a Maryville College baseball player to be," stated Coach Church. "His toughness and energy are contagious to everyone around him. As a baseball player, the ability to handle adversity is crucial, and Hayden continues to do that on a daily basis. We are lucky to have Hayden and his entire family joining our baseball program."
Coach Church asked Hayden about his journey after being diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome and his road toward recovery.
Fans can view the entire press conference below.
Hayden is not alone in his fight with Tourette's. Famous celebrities and athletes across the globe have battled with this disease. Soccer standouts David Beckham and Tim Howard as well as Major League baseball player Jim Eisenreich overcame the odds to excel on the playing fields.
"Today we added a key piece to our MC baseball team and family," stated Coach Church. "I look forward to watching Hayden grow through the Maryville College experience."
Team Impact History: The simple but powerful concept of matching sick kids with college athletic teams has been around for decades. Going as far back as 1960 when football players from Middlebury College started "Picking up Butch", athletic teams have been adopting kids onto their team to the benefit of all parties and participants. For many years this great sports tradition has been profoundly improving the quality of life for countless numbers of courageous kids, as well as providing life lessons and perspective to athletes that cannot be learned in the classroom. In the spring of 2011, Co-Founder Jay Calnan enlisted the support of Co-Founder Dan Kraft and a group of former classmates and business associates with the intention of leveraging their network in order to harness the enduring power of a team and the potential impact on children, their families, and college athletic teams. Since our inception, Team IMPACT has created relationships that have enhanced the lives of thousands of courageous children and touched the lives of tens of thousands of student-athletes across the country. The team behind Team IMPACT is honored and inspired to continue and expand the long-standing tradition of athletes paying tribute to something that is far greater than themselves; the ability to come together, serve the community and support each and every member of the team through adversity both on and off the field.