Athlete of the Issue: Delaney Hayes ’20


Tom Honan

Delaney Hayes ’20 is a three-year senior and co-captain for Girls Varsity Lacrosse and Girls Varsity Soccer.

Delaney Hayes ’20 is a three-year senior and co-captain for Girls Varsity Lacrosse and Girls Varsity Soccer. Next season, Hayes will play on the Women’s Lacrosse team for Marist College. Teammate Julia Chai ’20 said, “Delaney is not only a great friend and teammate, but also a leader. She is really great at integrating new girls onto the team and helps create a fun but productive environment. Delaney truly cares about everyone around her and always puts others before herself.”


What do you love most about lacrosse?

Lacrosse has given me a sense of belonging wherever I go. At Hotchkiss, it has given me a place where I feel comfortable and at home. It has also given me a sense of identity. The [players] have made me feel like they are my home and have shown me that lacrosse is where I belong.


What were you looking forward to most this season?

It was really disappointing that the season was canceled [because] I was really looking forward to being co-captain with one of my best friends, Julia. We were really excited about this season and what was to come. Julia and I are also best friends off the field, so I think it would’ve been a lot of fun to be able to co-captain with her. Gamewise, I was looking forward to playing Deerfield this year. We lost to them last year in double overtime, which was really heartbreaking, so I was definitely looking forward to playing them again. It’s always good to beat Deerfield in anything, and I think we were all geared towards that. We felt that last year we could’ve beat them, but we didn’t. Hopefully, [the team] will get them next year. 


What is your favorite memory or highlight from a previous season?

A game highlight was our game against Canterbury where we won 8-7. We struggled at the beginning of the game, but we were finally able to come together and pull out a win. Off the field, we always go to Disney [World] over spring break which is a lot of fun, so that is a favorite memory each year. Last year, I had a broken wrist when we went to Disney, so I wasn’t able to play, but being able to bond with my team off the field was great. We would do TikTok competitions and dance-offs; it was an overall really fun time just to be with some of my favorite people. 


What advice would you give to a current or future athlete at Hotchkiss and why?

I would say to always cherish every single moment you have. I really had no idea that the last time I was on Downing [Field] was the last time I would ever be on Downing [Field], so don’t take anything for granted. Another tip is to keep things in perspective. Not every miss[ed] pass or missed shot is going to end your lacrosse career, not every mistake is so detrimental. Remember that messing up [will be] a part of the game in whatever sport you’re playing. You are going to make mistakes, but that’s when it is really important that you have your team behind you to help pick up where you might be slacking off; that’s a super important lesson. I would always get really stressed out over the tiniest things and thinking back on it now, I don’t even remember those things. I only remember the moments of success and happy moments I got to spend with my team. Spend time with the people you love on your team, not only on the field but off the field as well. [The most important thing is] to really become a family because you only have so much time with these people, so make the most of it. 


Who has inspired you the most and what have they done to impact you?

Coach Anna Traggio has inspired me the most. I think she is a great example of a strong woman on and off the field and that’s something I aspire to be in life. She played [lacrosse] at Brown, and she was a motivated athlete and student. Seeing what she has done in her life and how she has cared for us through our lives is really inspiring. She’s also super hard on us in practice, not because she just wants us to win games, but because she wants us to get better. She supports us on and off the field and gives us a hug whenever we need it. She’s like a second mom to me at Hotchkiss. I can go to her for everything and that’s always really helpful. She has definitely had the biggest impact on me lacrosse-wise in my life. She has taught me that you have to have passion for the game, and that’ll get you a lot farther in life than skill. She’s also taught me a lot about being a leader. Our team motto is “hold the rope,” and that’s about being able to hold your teammates’ rope through everything. [When] they are having a bad day off the field, you have to be there for them. If they drop the ball, you are the first one to go after that ball. You’re always there for them to hold their rope. Leaving Hotchkiss, she’s taught me that this [team] is a family, and she has shown us what family means. Moving forward as an alumna, I’ll always know I have a family with her.