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Field Commanders: Haylee Whittemore; #3 Ranked Catcher for 2024 Class; 5-Tool and PGF Champion

Atlanta Vipers Organization:

Name: Haylee Whittemore

Hometown: Dallas, GA

High School: North Paulding High School (NPHS), GA

Travel Team: Atlanta Vipers

Coaches:

- High School Maisie Steed Hynninen (Kentucky 2013-2016)

- Travel Paul Neleman and Chuck Gateno

Positions: Catcher/Utility

Height: 5’3”

Bats/Throw: Switch-Hitter/Right

GPA: 3.9

Twitter: hayleewhittemo1

Instagram: personal page - hayleewhittemore

Fitness page: Haydenhayleefit


Haylee Whittemore; 2024; Catcher/Utility & 5-Tool; Atlanta Vipers


Field Commanders is a reoccurring article, in which we spotlight the most elite top Catcher prospects in the nation. Today, we are highlighting one of the best Catchers in the nation and also an elite true 5-Tool Utility player who thrives behind the plate and would no doubt excel at the collegiate level as an Outfielder as well among other positions. Haylee Whittemore is simply an athletic phenom who wins wherever she goes.


Who are you? I am just a girl trying to live life to the fullest! Whether it’s on an athletic field supporting my teammates while striving to be the best team out there, or in the classroom trying to be the best student I can be, or enjoying time spent with my family and friends, I just want to have fun. I am a 12U USA All-American, a Top 100 nationally ranked softball player, a triple sport athlete, and bodybuilder. I love everything about healthy lifestyles but also healthy balance with friends and family. I believe in treating others the way I would like to be treated. Love first of self in order to know how to love others. Thus far I have no regrets.

Haylee excelling at Track & Field


How did you start playing softball? I have over 8 years softball experience with the last 4 years in A-Ball. I started out playing baseball with my twin brother when we were 5 years old for 3 seasons until he wanted to follow his hunting and fishing dreams. I then started playing Recreation softball locally for 2 seasons, making the All-Star team my 2nd season. Our All-Star team then turned into my first travel team experience. I played locally until I joined my first A-level team - 2nd year 12u - with the EC Bullets organization in 2019. That same year I made the 12U USA All-American team for Georgia.

Haylee and her twin brother Hayden playing on the same baseball team


Haylee during her first year of softball


Why do you play softball? I play softball because it’s something I fell in love with from a young age. I love the competitiveness, the friendships, going on the out of town on trips, just everything about it! With social media now it allows me to also use softball as a platform to do other things with my life such as volunteering, charity, and supporting softball girls like Madison Smith. I met her at a Florida Gators softball camp.


Check out http://www.madisonswish.com

Madison Smith and Haylee

I want to raise awareness for those that are fighting their battle against Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Even sometimes when I think I want to stop playing, I remember the little girl who dreamed of being on the Women’s College World Series stage and winning a National Championship or that little girl that has dreamed of wearing USA on my chest in the Olympics. I have enjoyed the journey so far and look forward to all the experiences and memories to come.

Team USA - Jayden and Haylee right beside each other

You’re an elite prospect that is sought after by many top tier college programs and you’re an elite track athlete. How do you handle recruitment, travel ball, academics, and your other athletic endeavors? I have learned time management very well. I keep a calendar so I can plan accordingly. It’s something that I think comes with maturity and discipline. I look at my calendar and plan out my next day before I go to bed every single night with everything ranging from food, to my to-do list, to my workouts and anything else as such. It has really helped me sleep better and not be stressed out in the morning.

Track - Rome, GA


What achievements and examples can you share to give proof that you truly are one of the best prospects in the nation?

Premier Girls Fastpitch (PGF) Premier National Champion 2021

USA National Champion 2021

Top Gun Invitational Champion 2021

Extra Innings (EI) All-Summer Team 2021

PGF State Champion 2019

PGF 9th Place 2019

USA All-American 2019

Legacy & Legends Softball Ranking #33 Nationally for Class of 2024

Legacy & Legends Softball #3 Nationally Ranked Catcher for 2024

EI Ranked #58 Nationally and #29 Catcher in Class of 2024

Invited to the USA Softball High-Performance Program National Selection Event this November 2022 in Texas

2021 High School 2nd Team All-Region 3 AAAAAAA as an Outfielder

2021 EI All-Summer Team

2019 USA All-American - Region 3

2018 CCJBC Basketball All-Star Team

2017 North Paulding Softball Metro “Wolfpack Award”


Even though I started with achievements, I think my grind in the weight room, competing in other sports, being coachable and being good teammate will be what gets me recruited. There is so much more to being successful at the next level than just throwing a ball and swinging a bat.

Champion!


What do we need to know about your hitting? I was a righty until I moved to the left side of the plate in the fall of 2020. I taught myself how to hit left handed to try use my speed as an advantage. This past summer I had the highest batting average on my Virginia Unity team prior to merging with Mojo Ross and I had the 2nd highest average on my high school Varsity softball team that had made Sweet Sixteen in the largest classification (AAAAAAA) in Georgia. In 2020 before I turned lefty I was a power hitter from the right side. I hit 7 homeruns, most memorable was the first one of course then one I hit against Mojo Ross. I had 35 steals this past summer and my home to first time ranges from 2.55-2.7. This sport will humble you very fast. I rarely post stats on my social media. I have experienced the highs and lows of hitting.

Sliding. Haylee loves using her speed to steal bases


NPHS Varsity Softball Team headed to the Sweet 16


What do you do mentally before approaching the batters box? I draw a smiley face. Reminds me to have fun and at the end of the day softball is what I do it’s not who I am. Took a long time for me to realize that, but it’s helped me a lot on the mental side if it. I’m currently getting better at creating a plan before my at-bat and in the dugout before I actually hit. My approach now is: The only important pitch is the next pitch. The only important at bat is the next at-bat. I can’t focus on the past because it can change quickly, for the good or the bad. And in those times we have to find what works. In one of those times was born a lefty hitter, and that has seemed to work out well for me.

12 U USA All American games in Oklahoma City 2019


What is your greatest strength? I think my greatest strength is my maturity. I know what I want in life and I have certain goals and do everything in my power to accomplish it. Second, is physically, my athleticism and my ability to adapt and find a new way to accomplish things allows me continue to improve. I believe my personality is also strength because I engage others and I’m not afraid to talk. As a catcher, it’s so important to build that relationship with my pitchers and be able to communicate. I believe my mental mindset will give me that edge that some people lack, especially in tense situations. I love to use my speed to other peoples weaknesses as well.

Haylee maintaining rapport with umpire


Why should coaches recruit you? I believe I offer something a lot of other girls my age don’t have. I’ve recently started bodybuilding as a sport and is has taught me SO MUCH already. I won’t mind at all the workouts once I get to college. I’ve had people reach out to me for information on how to start a workout routine and I love helping them. It teaches you discipline. While a lot of people have motivation, when the motivation runs out you will have nothing left. Food, workouts, time management, etc have all played a large part in my life recently. My twin brother and I wake up at 4:30 AM almost every morning to workout, while many people sleep in until 8 AM or later. I think this will help me out a lot because 6 AM workouts in college won’t be a struggle for me because I love to get up early already.


How would your teammates describe you? I think they would describe me as caring. I try to build relationships with my teammates because we spend a lot of time together. Anytime a new person would come to our team I always try to make them feel welcome.


"Haylee has such a big heart and is willing to do anything for anyone. She has made a platform for herself chasing her dreams and it’s so amazing to see someone with the confidence to do that. She is someone I look up to and aspire to be like."

- Lilly Parrish, former Virginia Unity teammate

Haylee with Lilly Parrish (L&LS Nationally Ranked #10 Player for 2024 Class)

"As a teammate Haylee is always wanting me to succeed. She is always celebrating my highs with me and getting me through my lows. She’s the first person I go to with any problem because I know she’ll listen or help me get through it. She is a very caring and selfless person and that’s just one of the many reason I love her!"

- Megan Loftis - 2022 Outfielder committed to College of Central Florida and NPHS Varsity teammate

Haylee with Megan Loftis

What are your softball goals and dreams? I create small and big goals for myself every day, every month and every year. Sometimes they change, sometimes they remain the same. My dream is to run track and play softball in college. Track is something I am in love with and it would take a lot for me to give it up completely. My softball goals are to play in college and make the USA National Team and compete in the Olympics.

"My dream is to play for Team USA in the Olympics one day. I got to help Monica Abbott recently in a clinic she was putting on. Was so awesome meeting her and helping her." - Haylee Whittemore

What are you doing to achieve your dreams? I wake up around 4:30 AM every day to make sure I allow myself time to do everything I need to do during day, while getting off to a productive start. I hit the gym as much as I can while in season, working towards becoming an International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Figure Pro one day. For track, I run or do some form of aerobic activity everyday during the season, and off-season I definitely work in some kind of cardio, mostly just because I love to run in hopes to achieve what I want at the collegiate level.


Softball is special because I’ve been playing it for the longest period of time and since I’ve started I’ve learned a lot. I don’t think hitting 5 days a week on top of all different kinds of lessons and then playing every weekend makes a successful ball player. I think it’s personality, drive, the will to win, and the small things that make a great ball player. This goes for everything not just softball. I think sports have been taken to a different level and that they don’t allow time for kids to be kids. I do a lot with my time during the day, and I’m not saying just never practice and you’ll be great. That’s not the case. But in terms of achieving my dreams, I make sure to do everything I can while still having time to do things regular kids get to do.

Head Coach Maisie Steed Hynninen and Haylee


Please discuss your physical fitness and strength and conditioning program as you’re an extremely strong athlete. I have different splits as the year goes on so my workouts change throughout seasons. During track, it’s hard to gain muscle mass while your burning everything off during practice and meets. This year, my goal was to bulk a few pounds during the beginning of the year, and then shred for summer, but track said no way! I ended up switching plans and going with it. I usually end up with around 13k steps a day, wake up and workout or do it at night, have a weight training class during the day, and some practice for a sport depending on the season. It’s hard, but where there’s a will there’s a way!


Who is your greatest influence or role model and why? Honestly I don’t have one main influence. I have many. There are many women in sports speaking up for better equality, women fighting for their countries, women traveling and doing things to change the world. They are my influences. Strong, independent women who want to show they are as capable of anything as men without caring what anyone has to say. Women who love muscles and don’t care a bit if men have something to say about how they shouldn’t lift weights, or shouldn’t look big. Those are the women that deserve recognition because as I know from experience, it’s not easy being that 16 year old girl in high school being told muscles are only for guys, or I shouldn’t speak out about what I believe in. They are my INFLUENCES because I wouldn’t be who I am today without every single one of them.


Haylee's flag football team


If you could spend a day with any softball player or coach (past or present) who would it be and why? Softball player- Aleshia Ocasio because like me she plays multiple positions. A true Utility. I have watched her play over the years and she goes all out 110% all the time. She also uses your platform to empower change. It would be interesting to see her views on everything and her being as successful she is, it would cool just to hang out with her.

Aleshia Ocasio and Haylee


Describe your ideal softball team: I’m lucky to say I have had it. The 2021 Virginia Unity-Johnson team before the merger of Jay Ross’ Mojo team this past year was the ideal softball team. We were from all over but distance didn’t come between us or stop us from being one of the best teams out there. On the field we were fierce competitors that had each others back and knew what we had to do to get the job done. Off the field we were all friends that truly enjoyed spending time with each other. Anyone knows that team chemistry can make or break a team and we had enough to go around. It was electric on the field with all the girls and I’d put that team up against any team in the world.

PGF National Champions - 2021 Virginia Unity-Johnson


"Unity - team chemistry. We literally loved cheering on every teammate and celebrating all the successes each teammate had." - Haylee Whittemore


Greatest softball memory?

I have two. One being when I was still playing All-Stars for my local Rec fastpitch league. When you were little, not a care in the world other than what snacks you were getting after the game. When coaches were out there making sure you had fun not trying to break you down or make you cry. I miss it, and it will be something I took for granted and wish I cherished more.

Haylee with her first All-Stars coach, Coach Roger


The second one being winning PGF. When you ask someone who has won PGF how it felt, the answer is pretty common. Unbelievable. The last inning, no one could contain their excitement. Winning PGF was worth all the years of hard work, the blood, the sweat, and the tears during my years of playing softball. Before Kayden Camper threw the last pitch, I already started tearing up. “We really just did this,” is what I kept telling myself. My biggest dream come true. I can recall every minor detail from that entire tournament. Sounds bizarre, but losing the first bracket game only made the win sweeter, and along the way beating some of the top teams on the nation was pretty cool too. But all in all, this was an experience I will never ever forget and hope other people cherish it the same way I did.

Haylee's unforgetable moment. Winning PGF Championship and getting to hoist the trophy in the air


What are coaches saying about Haylee?


"Haylee is just a rare breed of human being at 16 years old. I really admire her in so many ways. Her drive and determination in everything she does really just sets her apart. I just don’t know any other young lady her age that gets up at 4:30 AM, prepares the perfect meals for the day to fuel her body and then works out. All before most girls and boys even get out of bed. She makes me laugh and pushes me to be a better coach."

- Head Coach Paul Neleman - Atlanta Vipers


Current travel coaches - Coach Paul Neleman and Chuck Gateno


"I coached Haylee in first year 12u and could tell then she was something special. She is “that” kid every coach wants on their team. She is a playmaker. There is no other kid I would want in a high pressure situation. She was and is a hard worker in many sports, not just softball."

- Coach Andy Davis, currently Head Coach of EC Bullets 2025

Coach Andy Davis and Haylee



"Always ready to play, always ready to lead, and always with a smile"!

- Coach Ernie Yarbrough, USA Softball of Georgia, Southeast Region & Georgia J.O. Commissioner, Deputy State Commissioner

Coach Ernie and Coach McKenzie - they were a part of Haylee's 12u USA All-American team and now a part of the Georgia USA HPP program

Additional Info About Haylee:

Favorite Movie: any Adam Sandler movie

Favorite Singer/Band: Calvin Harris

Walk up Song: Champion by Carrie Underwood

Favorite Book: 12 things mentally strong people don’t do

Favorite TV Show: Friends

Favorite Sports Team: Los Angeles Dodgers

Favorite Pro Athlete: Mike Trout

Interesting Fact About You: taught myself how to tumble in my front yard during quarantine. It’s a skill I do a lot for exercise and fun now.


Haylee's family






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