New skipper ready to lead Stoney Creek softball

By: Christian Davis | Rochester Post | Published April 19, 2016


It’s his first season coaching softball at the high school level, but Thomas Hayman is bringing a wealth of experience to Rochester Hills Stoney Creek.

The coach took over the program in February. For the past 15 years, he’s coached at the travel and youth levels.

He also has personal experience to draw from his baseball playing days at Rochester College.

“I wouldn’t say I was nervous (taking the job), because I know the game pretty well … but I wanted to make sure I did a very good job,” Hayman said. “I don’t want to let the program down. I want to see the girls succeed and make sure that I keep building up the program.”

The early returns have been positive. At press time, the Cougars were 4-0 overall and hadn’t played a game in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

Hayman said that with his background in mathematics — he teaches math and physics at Sterling Heights Stevenson — he’s very analytical and his only care is that the squad is efficient.

“It depends a lot on the team … and whatever works best for that team,” he said. “Some girls take advantage of small ball, and a few are very good at swinging away.”

Hayman said underclassmen fill up half the roster.

“We’re extremely young and we’re learning a lot, but these girls are very hardworking and very positive,” he said.

The Cougars do have some experience to draw on with six returning starters from a squad that finished 25-9 last season, including captains Sidney Rayba and Jennifer Moss.

They were both All-Association picks last year, helping lead the team to a 13-3 mark in the OAA White, which was good for second place.

Rayba leads the defense from center field. Moss handles pitching and also first base. When she’s not in the circle, Lauren Erickson takes the circle.

“They’re pretty similar. I would say they both throw very well and have very good location,” Hayman said. 
The skipper said he also leans on assistant coaches Jessie Marinec and Corey French, noting the time and effort that each has put into the team.

Hayman believes the effort put in by the players and coaches is going to pay off.

“We’re a good team,” he said. “We have the right attitude, and we work hard. I know they can do some good things,” he said.

Catch the Cougars take on Auburn Hills Avondale at 4:30 p.m. April 26 at home.