Detroit Mercy senior Charlie Hayes (23) celebrates a goal during a contest earlier this season. A 2014 graduate of Utica Eisenhower, Hayes notched 15 goals and six assists for 21 points in his career, which was the most in school history at his position.

Detroit Mercy senior Charlie Hayes (23) celebrates a goal during a contest earlier this season. A 2014 graduate of Utica Eisenhower, Hayes notched 15 goals and six assists for 21 points in his career, which was the most in school history at his position.

Photo provided by Detroit Mercy athletics


Ike grad caps record-setting career at Detroit Mercy

By: Timothy Pontzer | Shelby - Utica News | Published May 25, 2018

DETROIT — Charlie Hayes bookended his college career with historic campaigns.

A 2014 graduate of Utica Eisenhower, Hayes joined the University of Detroit Mercy lacrosse team in 2015. That year saw the Titans finish 8-5, securing the first winning mark in program history.

“My freshman year, there were a lot of seniors to follow and learn what it took to win,” Hayes said. “The middle two years were a little rough with us being a younger team. By the time this year came around, we ended up having a lot of seniors once again to step up and lead the way. It was a great way to go out.”

Hayes concluded his career with an appearance in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title game May 5, falling 10-9 to Canisius College in overtime in West Long Branch, New Jersey. Detroit Mercy ended with a 9-7 mark, completing the second-best winning season for the school.

The former Ike standout was named to the All-Championship team. Additionally, Hayes earned First Team All-MAAC honors, following the Second Team All-MAAC distinction he saw as a junior.

A short-stick defensive midfielder, Hayes piled up career highs with 34 caused turnovers and ground balls. While he didn’t light up the scoreboard, Hayes said he took pride in his role of doing the dirty work.

“In high school I played midfield, but in college I specialized in the defensive end,” Hayes explained. “I was a transitional player, so when we’re on defense, I run out there with a short stick and fight for possession. Once stuff gets settled on the offensive end, I come off the field for another attack. My job was simply to take the ball away from the other team. I loved it.”

As a senior, Hayes led the MAAC and was tied for fifth in the nation with 2.13 caused turnovers per game. Overall, he had the most caused turnovers and ground balls by any short-stick defensive midfielder in the country.

For his career, Hayes chipped in 15 goals and six assists for 21 points, which is the most in school history at his position. A three-sport athlete at Eisenhower, Hayes credited his hardworking mindset as something he picked up on the gridiron.

“Football is a serious thing at Eisenhower, and it takes hard work to make it on the team,” Hayes explained. “The grueling work and physical nature required for it translates well to lacrosse. Playing for (Ike football) coach (Chris) Smith, you knew what level was expected, and how to work hard and earn your place. I definitely took that over to college.”

Smith had high praise for Hayes.

“No question, Charlie was one of the top leaders we have had on and off the field in our program’s history,” said Smith, who will begin his seventh year at Ike this fall. “(Hayes) is the epitome of a student-athlete. He was a phenomenal athlete who outworked everyone, and was a positive leader and role model for the other players.”

In addition to serving as a receiver/cornerback for Smith, Hayes represented the Eagles in basketball and lacrosse. He helped the lacrosse team win two Macomb Area Conference Red Division titles. Hayes was named to the All-League team as a senior in football and basketball.

“I loved playing all three sports,” Hayes said. “By my junior and senior years, I was getting the most (collegiate) offers for (lacrosse). That was the path I decided to take.”

Hayes was a captain on all three of his prep teams. He was also captain of the Titans as a junior and senior.

Recently completing his undergrad business degree, Hayes looks forward to continuing to lead at Detroit Mercy.

“They gave me the opportunity to be a graduate assistant. I get to go back and get a master’s degree while being on the lacrosse coaching staff,” Hayes said. “I think Detroit Mercy is a school in Michigan that is often overlooked. My time there was incredible. Getting to go and play at a great school only 45 minutes from where I grew up was an amazing opportunity. There’s a lot of progress, not just in the lacrosse program, but the school as a whole.”