A new season of basketball has brought Margie Hayes into a new role - as the voice of the Grove Ridgerunners.
Hayes began doing the play by play for radio listeners at the beginning of the 2017-18 basketball season, replacing Gary Bishop who retired after calling plays for radio listeners for more than a decade.
While Hayes is new behind the mike as the lead voice, she's not new to radio, having started working with Bishop three years ago when the Lady Ridgerunners went to state.
Hayes has a long history with Grove ranging from teaching, coaching and even parenting her own children through the basketball program.
Her oldest daughter Morgan Hayes graduated in 2015 and was part of the state bound basketball team that got Hayes her start.
Her youngest son Chat Hayes, a junior, is a starter on the boy’s varsity team.
Hayes brings with her a background and experience with the sport of basketball having served as both a player and coach.
Hayes started balling at an early age, playing though college as a power forward with College of the Ozarks in Branson, Missouri.
After graduating with a physical education major, Hayes went onto her chosen profession of becoming a teacher.
“It’s so cool to watch kids and people excel and do cool things," she said.
Her dream job has always been to serve as a sideline reporter or sports broadcaster for ESPN or FOX.
But calling the plays at home has its advantages.
“Grove radio is cool because I’ve had a lot of these players in my class and coached some which makes it fun," Hayes said.
Currently Hayes is a teacher at Fulbright Junior High in Bentonville, Arkansas, and coaches cross country.
She makes the trek to the games after her normal day job following the team as they travel around eastern Oklahoma for their season.
Hayes taught at Grove Middle School for eight years, coaching the 2008-09 season with Lady Ridgerunner Basketball Coach Richard Bassett.
“I love my Grove kids," Hayes said. "This isn’t about me or my kids and I try really hard to boost up all the kids.
“Those boys in that junior class I wouldn’t hesitate to call my own kids.”
Hayes completes some prep work before each game, and her typical routine involves checking OSSAA ranking to see if Ridgerunner's opponent is ranked and reviews the team's record.
Because of her job as a teacher, Hayes said her time to speak to coaches before the games, unlike Bishop's pre-game protocol.
Hayes does bring notecards with the players numbers and some basic stats to reference while she is on air. She also brings her own style to the play-by-play.
“I know Gary used to get fired up about the calls, I don’t really get fired up over the calls," Hayes said. "The officials at Collinsville were so bad I took my headset off and yelled at them one year.
"I get they are going to miss calls, as long as they are consistently terrible for both teams I’m ok with it.”
Bobby Hughes helps Hayes with color this year. As a former Grove player and college player, he will help to round out the team.
Hayes said she is excited for both teams this year, after watching the start of the season.
“The boys will always give 110 percent on the floor regardless but height is the only element we are missing," Hayes said. "I whole hardily believe our girls will be in the state tournament this year, going to play at the big house.”
Either way the season turns out Hayes is “having fun with it,” saying, “there is nothing better then working with the kids.”
Hayes and Hughes broadcast live during both home and away Ridgerunner and Lady Ridgerunner basketball games on KGVE 99.3 FM.