A lot of young boys start out playing baseball, but staying with the sport throughout the years is something that not many can say they were able to do.
There is a different story for senior Matt Haynes, however. He has been playing since he was four or five years old and says he has been involved with baseball since before he can even remember.
“I started with T-ball like most kids do, I guess, and progressed through high school and up to college here at UTM,” Haynes said.
The competition aspect is one thing Haynes credits with keeping his interest in baseball throughout the years. He says he always wanted to make it to the next level.
“It’s a different kind of game than most, there are a lot of little things you have to do right,” said Haynes.
Only an hour away from his home town of Jackson, Tenn., Haynes decided on UTM because it was a good fit for him. The school fit the needs he was looking for and offered him the ability to stay close to home.
“Getting an offer here was really a good fit for me because it met a lot of the needs I was looking for in a school,” Haynes said.
Haynes wanted the best competition he could get and somewhere that wasn’t too far from home. He says that is something he has most certainly gotten with a Division I school. He signed with UTM Baseball on the first day of the early signing period.
“I talked to other coaches a lot, but I signed so early I didn’t really give a lot of schools much of a chance, UTM fit well enough that I knew it was a good choice,” Haynes said.
Early signing period for Haynes was during the fall semester of his senior year in high school. Haynes knew he was coming to UTM early and did not have to spend his last high school season worrying about where he was going like others sometimes do.
“I knew pretty early I was going to come here and that I was nice for me, I was pretty fortunate,” Haynes said.
Haynes is a Business Management major and plans to pursue a career in sales upon graduation. Eventually, he plans on owning his own business doing something with the outdoors.
“The big plan down the road is to some day own my own business, I know it’s not easy but it is what I’d like to do.”
He said that he would like to incorporate baseball into his career if that would be possible because it is something he enjoys, but he has to see where his career takes him. Haynes did an internship with the Generals in Jackson and says he really enjoyed that.
Haynes says realistically after this year, his baseball career will probably be over, but he never wants to let it completely go.
“I know that probably after this year I’ll be done playing baseball, but I’ll probably do some smaller things like church league softball. I don’t ever just want to completely give it up,” Haynes said.
Although, after this season he won’t be on the diamond anymore, Haynes believes many of the things baseball taught him can be applied to his career. The competitiveness of baseball is one thing that can be heavily applied to a career in sales.
“I’ve gotten to where now, even in my 490 class where we compete against other teams, I want to be first in everything I do,” Haynes said.