Oak Ridge High graduate Hayden Nabers is a rare two-sport athlete.
Not only did Nabers play football and baseball at Oak Ridge, but he was quite successful at both, as he earned All-League honors in the Sierra Foothill League in both sports, as well as making the All-Metro team in both sports. On the Trojan football team, Nabors played defensive tackle where his 6-3, 215-pound frame served him well in the trenches. His size was also a benefit on the baseball field, as he served the team as a designated hitter and relief pitcher.
“Hayden is a really hard worker,” Oak Ridge baseball coach Todd Melton said. “He was our starting DH as the beginning of the season, and then we went away from him for awhile before coming back to him. He had a great deal of success, and that speaks to his perseverance; he works hard at the game. He got some clutch hits for us, and also threw some really good reliefs innings for us. There’s a great deal of upside there.
“As a two-sport athlete, Hayden is a good example that playing two sports can be done, but it’s hard and you’ve got to be talented. The coaches at Oak Ridge encourage athletes to play other sports, but you’ve got to put the work in for both sports. It’s doable, but it’s not easy, and that’s a feather in Hayden’s cap for having the success in both sports that he had.”
Folsom Telegraph: What are your plans for after graduation?
Hayden Nabers: I am still deciding. I will be playing baseball in college, but still have a couple more schools to talk with before the summer ends.
FT: Do sports run in your family?
HN: My dad played football and baseball in high school, and my mom was a cheerleader at Mizzou. My grandpa played football in college and so did my uncle. So sports definitely run in the family!
FT: You played football and baseball at Oak Ridge. Which, if any, is your favorite sport of the two and why?
HN: Although I absolutely loved my four years of Oak Ridge football and made some great memories, I always knew and wanted to play baseball in college at the next level. I enjoyed playing both sports equally.
FT: What do you like best about football and baseball?
HN: Well, for football I thoroughly enjoyed the Friday night lights. I also felt a sort of brotherhood with my teammates when we battled on the field together. For baseball, it's the little things for me like the feeling of squaring up a baseball and pitching a perfect location. Those things never get old!
FT: How long have you played football and baseball and how did you get your start in them?
HN: I've been playing baseball and football since I was 7 years old. So for baseball it was T-ball when the whole thing started and for football it was Mighty Mites for the Junior Trojans. I never stopped since then.
FT: You were an all-league performer in both sports. Do you feel you’re better at one sport over the other or no?
HN: I was fortunate enough to have a lot of success and good memories in both sports, but being a left-handed pitcher and swinging a left-handed bat with my size definitely puts me in a position to be more successful as a college baseball player, and I'm definitely looking forward to that.
FT: What are you most proud of during your athletic career at Oak Ridge?
HN: I am very proud that I was able to succeed in the classroom while I poured out so much time for my two sports as well. To earn all-league and all-metro honors along the way made all the hard work worth it in the end.
FT: Do you have a most memorable athletic moment from your years at Oak Ridge?
HN: I think my most memorable athletic moment in my career at Oak Ridge was hitting a bomb on Senior night this year in our last regular game of the season, which was for league champs. That moment was very cool for me, and I was glad I could help our team pull off the win that day.
FT: Have you ever been involved in any other sports?
HN: Yes! As a matter of fact, I also played freshman basketball for Oak Ridge for one year.
FT: What was your favorite class in school this year and why?
HN: My favorite class this year was definitely Sci-Fi! We watched a lot of great movies in that class like Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy, which I loved!
FT: Favorite food?
HN: I'd love to give you a more exotic answer, but the truth is pizza is my favorite food, sorry.
FT: Favorite music?
HN: I'm a huge EDM guy. I definitely turn it up when I hear the Chainsmokers, Marshmello, or Cash Cash.
FT: Do you have any pets? Tell us about them.
NH: Yes! I have two of the coolest dogs in the world. I have a Vizsla named Tempi and a terrier mix we got from the shelter named Bella.
FT: Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
HN: For hobbies I am definitely a movie fanatic! I get fired up when big movies come out, especially like Avengers: Infinity War, which I just saw a couple of weeks ago. It was epic!
FT: What are your career goals? What job/career are you interested in?
HN: I'm planning on taking baseball as far as I can, but during college I plan to study business marketing because I feel like that's a field I could do well in after college.