SAN ANTONIO — Hayley Galindo didn't grow up wanting to be a sports journalist. But she does now, especially after a sideline gig with ESPN.
Hayley Galindo's time at John Marshall High School is drawing closer to an end. Graduation is several months away, which leaves time for moments and memories. She's got one that's hard to top.
"I got the part with ESPN. That was amazing," Hayley said. "I loved that."
The 18-year-old said broadcasting was not the job she envisioned as a youngster. Hayley's mother, Michelle, thought her youngest daughter would likely become a church's first lady.
"She is very gifted in leading people to (Jesus) Christ," Michelle said.
While that may not be out of the picture in the future, what is in the frame now is her daughter's growing passion for becoming a sports journalist.
"I've always loved baseball, so it wasn't until I started seeing women in the industry doing it that I realized, like, 'Wow, I could really do this,'" Hayley said.
The high school senior said she started studying female broadcasters closely. Her biggest inspiration is ESPN's Jessica Mendoza.
Like Mendoza, the Marshall high senior is an outfielder on the Lady Rams softball team. Her coach Larissa Cover said she's also a designated hitter.
"We've had her on our varsity team (this being her fourth year), and she is also a member of our Leadership Council here at Marshall," Cover said.
Hayley took a swing at a sports broadcasting camp put on by NBC sports anchor Bruce Beck. Her only expectation in the virtual camp was to gain skills toward sports journalism.
"You learn so much," she said.
When the camp was over, Hayley got a call from Beck. She was in the car with George Galindo, her father, who put the call on the vehicle's speakerphone. Beck's words went through her.
"ESPN selected you to broadcast the Little League World Series," she said.
Galindo said his daughter's excitement was hard to contain.
"She was screaming and crying and jumping," he said. "I thought I had to pull over because it was really that bad."
The Galindo's traveled to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where Hayley got the network treatment. She even got to meet and talk to Mendoza.
"They asked me to be a sideline reporter, which is perfect because that's what I want to do," she said.
Hayley first time on television was on an ESPN broadcast. She did a 'Kidcast' for the Little League World Series and a complimenting Major League Baseball Classic between the Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Indians.
"I felt so confident doing it. I had never felt that confident ever," she said. "I almost did not want to leave because of how much confidence I had doing this."
Her mother, who said Hayley was not a talker as a kid, saw her baby in a different light.
"When I saw her on ESPN, I was like – 'That's it. She's home,'" Michelle said.
Coming back to San Antonio was a trip back down to Earth. No people to do hair or make-up. No one to grab snacks and water for the on-air talent.
"I was in the airport with my dad, and I was like, 'I really want water,'" Hayley said. "He's like, 'Go get it.' It was one of those things like, 'Oh my gosh, you're right.'"
The experience became a confidence booster for the high school athlete. Others thought her experience was par for the course.
"I was thrilled when Hayley called to tell me about her selection to report for ESPN," Cover said. "I know she has the talent and ability to do that type of reporting work."
Hayley's takeaways from her broadcasting opportunity: Listen and learn from the veterans, remain open to learning, one can always do better, and this verified her dream to be on-air.
She's considering enrolling at Texas State University.