FEATURED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Hayden Rudes, North Putnam

Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Hayden Rudes tucks the ball away and runs for a first down in football action last fall.
Banner Graphic/JOEY BENNETT

Hayden Rudes is a senior at North Putnam and participates in football and baseball.


Banner Graphic: How old were you when you started playing sports, and what have you learned from them?

Hayden Rudes: “I think the first time I had a ball in my hand was when I was two. I played organized flag football, and from about age four it’s been one of the most important things in my life. I wouldn’t have been able to have done without it. I’ve learned the importance of learning from others, and learning to work with others. If we didn’t know how to work with each other, we wouldn’t play well. I’m a big believer in learning from each other and making each other better people.”

BG: Talk about your senior year in sports.

HR: “In football, it was tough to have a new coach but we worked together well and had a good year in winning the county. I’ve always been a big baseball player too. Unfortunately this year hasn’t gone as well as some of the others did, but I’m not one to complain. I love my teammates and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

BG: Is it hard to be a multi-sport athlete and manage your grades at the same time?

HR: “It can be, but I think I’ve managed my time pretty well. The important things get done on time. I understand there have been a lot of late nights, and a lot of assignments I’ve had to hurry up and get done. College will be that way, so it has been good training.”

BG: What other things do you do at school besides play sports?

HR: “I’m involved with the Student Athlete Leadership Team. It’s led by Mr. [Roger] Busch, our athletic director, and I’m the co-chair of that. We participate in the Champions Together program with special needs students, and talk about what we can do to help North Putnam sports as a whole. I have seen progress with what we’ve done. I see kids in the hall who should be playing sports, but they don’t have anyone pushing them toward it or they don’t feel wanted. With Champions Together, we have a great friendship with that program. I talk to a lot of them every day, and they have no problem fitting in. It’s great.”

BG: What do you like to do outside of school?

HR: “Other than lifting weights and staying in shape, I do the normal things that kids do — hang out with friends, go to movies and play video games. I like to enjoy other people’s time. In music, I do not follow the status quo of our generation. I like more of the rock/metal stuff. I like Post Malone, but don’t really listen to many other current artists. I like the Marvel/DC movies with all the action, and war movies. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I like ‘The Office’ on Netflix when I have time. I haven’t had time to do much hunting or fishing, but that’s something I’d like to find time to do.”

BG: What is something you have never done before that you would like to do someday?

HR: “Skydiving or base-jumping. I really want to get that adrenaline rush.”

BG: What are your favorite and least favorite foods?

HR: “My favorite is Mexican. I don’t really have a least favorite food. My mom really cooks an array of everything. She’s an awesome cook.”

BG: What is your greatest fear?

HR: “Letting down the people around me or failing those who are important to me. It’s something that drives me to produce and work well with everyone.”

BG: If you were to describe your personality in one word, what would it be and why?

HR: “Chill. I take a step back from everybody and don’t get too hyped up on what’s going on in social media. I’m the calm of my group of friends. Except on Friday nights in the fall.”

BG: Describe your overall North Putnam experience.

HR: “It’s been great. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else. It can seem like it’s boring out here, but I’ve had a great experience. My teachers have been amazing and I have learned a lot. I will miss it. At this point, many people are just looking forward to getting out. I look forward to coming to school every day and seeing my buddies, who I probably won’t get to see as much in the future. It’s all getting pretty real for me. My little brother [Hunter] will be playing football, so I’ll come back to watch him as often as I can.”

BG: After college, do you want to live far away from Putnam County or come back around here?

HR: “After college, I plan on joining the Navy. I’ve always felt that calling to serve. My entire family is Army, so I want to do something different.”