Coach Hayland Hardy fights off COVID-19, returns to softball field

Coach Hayland Hardy fights off COVID-19, returns to softball field
Hayland Hardy (Source: KTRE Sports)

DIBOLL, Texas (KTRE) - The Diboll Ladyjacks are back on the softball field and right there with them his head coach Hayland Hardy.

Hardy admits that a few months ago he wasn’t sure if he would be able to coach the team this year or even be alive. This past November, hardy tested positive for COVID-19. Hardy suffers from a chronic lung illness so his body took a heavy hit from the virus. He spent time in a Dallas area hospital and wasn’t sure if he would make it out.

“It was a real battle for me,” Hardy said. “I do not think I am totally recovered but I am blessed to be here and I am enjoying every minute out here.”

Hardy has still not been cleared to go back inside the school building but is cleared to work from home for the district and coach. he has high expectations for his team this year. In his first year with the team in 2019, the Ladyjacks went to the regional final, their best finish in school history. Last season the team was 19-0-3 and 3-0 in district when the season was paused due to the pandemic and eventually canceled. His team lost four key players but still has playmakers that should have Diboll back strong.

“After our year last year, a lot of the girls are enjoying it out here, Hardy said. “I know I am. We don’t want to put pressure on us. We just need to go out and do our best. I want these girls to be great on the field and in the class room.”

Hardy finds joy in family, softball and baseball. He finds peace in his faith. it is these things that he holds on to after his battle with COVID-19.

“It is not that I haven’t always appreciated it but it seems a little more because in that time I didn’t think I was going to coach anymore,” Hardy said. “I am just glad that God let me stay a little longer to coach this year.”

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