A couple of the most notable sister-brother combinations in Southern Arizona high school sports include the names Brase (Matt and Julie, Lute Olson‘s grandkids) at Catalina Foothills and Pyers (Jim and Paula) at Palo Verde, both sets talented in basketball.
Matt and Julie have gone on to distinguished coaching careers in the pro ranks. Jim and Paula are in the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame.
Some standout sister-brother duos from the same high school are emerging these days with former Cienega football receiver/returner/athlete Terrell Hayward and his sister Breanna “Breezy” Hayward, a budding star of a softball player with the Bobcats.
Others of note include Salpointe’s Evan Nelson and Jaya Nelson in basketball and Lathan Ransom and Jalynn Ransom in football and volleyball, respectively.
As a sophomore this past season, Breezy Hayward belted a team-best 10 home runs and tied for the team lead with 33 RBIs to earn a spot on the 2019 Southern Arizona All-Stars Team. A third baseman, she hit safely in 24 of Cienega’s 29 games, including 13 multi-hit games, to finish with a .500 batting average.
“I just go everywhere and it’s like, ‘Oh, you’re Terrell’s sister right?’ Yeah that’s me. No one really calls me by Breezy. Everyone goes by Terrell’s sister. ‘Oh, that’s Terrell’s sister,'” Breezy said.
PREVIOUSLY IN WINGS OVER BROADWAY SUMMER YOUTH SERIES:
Hayward is a name of honor in Tucson high school athletics with how Terrell — bound for NAU on a football scholarship — succeeded at Cienega and with what Breezy is accomplishing. Terrell was a first team All-Southern Arizona selection and was also an Ed Doherty Nominee and an APS Digital/Tucson Conquistadores Player of the Week honoree for his play this year.
By the time her Cienega career concludes in 2021, Breezy will likely pass the “you’re Terrell’s sister” stage and make people address Terrell as “Breezy’s brother.”
An indicator of Hayward’s promising softball career is her ability to play with the talent-laden Oro Valley Suncats’ 18U Gold Team this summer that features 16 players bound for college softball programs including Arizona, ASU, Ole Miss, Utah State and Central Florida.
As one of the younger players on the team, Breezy must bide her time and adjust to a pinch-hitting role, although she has earned more opportunities as of late. She has three hits and two RBIs in her last five games.
“My hitting has become better and my fielding too, my fielding has become stronger, moving side to side,” said Hayward after her recent appearance in the Kino League High School All-Star Softball games.
One area of opportunity she said is fielding slow rollers back-handed and throwing across her body to get runners out at first base.
She has put in plenty of time in recent years toward her development in the Oro Valley Suncats program. When she was in middle school, as a member of the 14U team, she was invited to Oregon’s elite softball prospect camp. She has also attended Mike Candrea‘s camp at Arizona and a camp at Oklahoma.
Her unofficial college recruiting visits also include Washington and ASU.
Breezy’s athletic versatility was on display when she was part of the Tucson Turf’s 14U all girls team that played in the 2017 NFL national flag football tournament.
Through her first two years of softball with Cienega she has tallied 18 home runs with 87 RBIs while hitting .517. She had eight home runs as a freshman and 10 last season, which tied Valerie Luera (2012) for the school’s season record.
“I’m just trying to hit the ball hard, somewhere I can score more runners and help my team out with a dub (win),” said Breezy, who then flashed her customary smile when talking about her home run record chase.
“The goal next year is to hit like 12 or 13 (home runs).”
No reason to doubt her chances with her success thus far at a young age and the example set forth by her brother in competition.
When asked what she could take from Terrell after watching him excel for Cienega, she said, “Taking leadership and making the big plays when we need them.”
Breezy was given that name by an elementary school physical education teacher who had fun applying nicknames to students. The name has stuck to go along with her surname Hayward. Terrell is also mentioned in the same breath.
“I have a name (Terrell) to own up to like Hayward. I have to own up to it,” she said.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.