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Palm Coast Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020 2 weeks ago

Standing O: Lovie Haley, Matanzas softball player and 'somebody we trust'

'She made sure she met that goal that she set for herself,' Lovie's mother said. 'It came from a place from within.'
by: Brian McMillan Executive Editor

Lovie Haley always finishes all her homework.


“I can’t sleep at night if I haven’t done the homework,” she said in a recent interview with the Palm Coast Observer. “If I didn’t finish, I would feel bad about myself because I know I can do it.”

That inner drive has led Haley to an impressive resume, grade point average and, most recently, a scholarship to play softball at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

According to her mother, Vicky, Haley has known since she was about 10 years old that she wanted to play college softball. She learned what it would take as far as grades and softball skills, and she went for it, taking extra pitching and hitting lessons for years, working long hours on the field.

“She has great character, is involved in clubs/activities outside of softball and is a model student-athlete.”

— Zach Rigney, Matanzas athletics director

“If she didn’t want to, she could jump off that path,” Vicky said, “but she made sure she met that goal that she set for herself. It came from a place from within. Nobody can make you do that.”

Haley is the Standing O athlete from Matanzas High School this year because of her excellence on the field as well as her character off it.

MHS Athletics Director Zach Rigney called Haley “a model student-athlete.” Coach Sabrina Manhart said Haley also has great school spirit and leads visitors on enthusiastic tours.

Among Haley’s high school accomplishments are her 4.9 grade point average and her role as president of the National Honor Society. She is on track to graduate in 2021 with both a diploma from MHS and an associates degree from Daytona State college. She also earned a presidential scholarship and a Woman of Excellence Award from ERAU.

But it doesn’t stop there. She has volunteered with Feed Flagler and Palm Coast Little League. She has racked up more than 400 volunteer hours without counting the weekly work she has put into the social media account for the Florida Fast Pitch Forum.

If that weren’t enough, she also has a part-time job at Dunkin’ Donuts to help pay for college.

“She’s always busy,” Vicky said.

“I do things back-to-back-to-back,” Haley added. She credits her mother for managing her schedule and helping her carve out time for family and friends. “She’s my mom-ager,” Haley said.

But perhaps the person most responsible for helping her bridge the gap to ERAU is Manhart, who is beginning her third year here.

Manhart met Haley at a tournament when Haley was in middle school.

“She came right up and introduced herself to me, which was pretty impressive for a kid so young,” Manhart recalled. “She’s got that unique name that makes her stand out, and it’s so impressive that she can back it up.”

Manhart said Haley’s versatility will serve her well on the college field. Haley played seven positions out of nine in her freshman year and is a pitcher on travel teams.

“I can move her anywhere on the field,” Manhart said. “One game she had to move from first to second base, and we didn’t skip a beat — she was diving for balls and making plays. … She’s somebody we trust.”


Lovie Haley, with ERAU coaches Bianka Bell and Kelsi Dunne


Brian McMillan has been editor of the Palm Coast Observer since it began in 2010. He was named the Journalist of the Year for weekly newspapers in North America by the Local Media Association in 2012. He lives in Palm Coast with his wife and five children. Email...

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