Posted on

Payton Hadley selected to IGHSAU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee

Payton Hadley selected to IGHSAU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
Press photo by John Burbridge
In addition to practicing picking up her 10-pin spares at Comet Bowl, Charles City junior Payton Hadley also recorded a video there to submit to the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, which appointed Hadley to its Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

By John Burbridge

CHARLES CITY — Payton Hadley has been selected to advise one of the most influential and impactful organizations in the country.

No exaggeration.

“I’m to serve as a voice for athletes and girls sports across the state,” said the Charles City junior about her role amidst the 11-member Student-Athlete Advisory Committee — a first-person sounding board for the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s Representative Council and Board of Directors.

The committee is comprised of female student-athletes representing various sized schools across Iowa. Two female athletes from each of the state’s four districts — Northeast, Southeast, Northwest and Southwest — along with three “at-large” representatives were selected from an applicant pool.

“Our athletic director (Dana Sullivan) asked me if I would be interested in applying, and my bowling coach (Casey Brandau) helped direct me to the computer link for application,” Hadley said.

Hadley was also required to submit a video between three and five minutes long highlighting her credentials as a student-athlete and her thoughts and goals about moving female athletes to the next level.

“I made the recording at the bowling alley,” Hadley said. “It was just me and someone holding the (recording device).

“It was about four minutes long.”

Hadley is a four-season athlete. In addition to being a returning letter-winner middle infielder for the Comets’ softball team, Hadley became an All-Northeast Iowa Conference golfer her sophomore and first year with the sport, and an individual state-qualifier in bowling this past winter.

The committee discusses and provides feedback for issues dealing with sportsmanship, safety, student leadership and participation.

“We’re supposed to have a Zoom meeting in June and then meet three times during the year in Des Moines,” Hadley said.

Committee members also are called on to assist at various state meets and tournaments throughout the school year if they are available.

“I’ve been asked to help at the girls state golf tournament this week (May 23 and 24), but I’m going to be playing a makeup softball game in Independence on Thursday before our home opener on Friday, so I’m not going to be able to make it,” Hadley said.

The IGHSAU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee was formed in 2018. Several local student-athletes have served on the committee, including Nashua-Plainfield graduate Faith Carpenter.

The committee is unique mainly because the IGHSAU is unique being that Iowa is the only state that maintains separate governing bodies for boys’ and girls’ athletics.

For someone who had covered prep sports in other states for numerous years, Iowa’s dual setup took some time to get used to — this reporter still mistakenly labels “regional” tournaments when they should be “district” tournaments and vice-versa.

But the IGHSAU that exclusively serves female athletes has definitely yielded positive dividends in the advancement of female athletics.

Examples include Iowa being one of the first states in the country to sanction female wrestling at the prep level as well as having a resident university — Iowa — being the first and still only Power Five school to have a women’s wrestling program.

Iowa reportedly has also impacted women’s basketball all the way to the WNBA level.

Hadley says she’s excited about being a more active participant to this upward trend.

“I’m still learning about what my responsibilities are going to be,” she said. “I’ll find out more at the Zoom meeting, but I’m ready to serve.”

Social Share