2018-19 O-Zone Female Athlete of the Year: Hayley Frank, Strafford

Strafford’s Hayley Frank has been named the O-Zone Female Athlete of the Year for the third consecutive year.

Frank was a three-sport star for the Lady Indians excelling in basketball, softball and golf.

Frank finished her career as the most statistically dominant basketball player in Missouri girls basketball history. Her senior year was no let down, as she scored 22.8 points per game while pulling down 13 rebounds and distributing 7.2 assists per game. She shot an astounding 68.3% from the field and 51.3% from three-point range. She led the Lady Indians to a fourth straight Class 3 state championship and state record 115 consecutive wins. She was named Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year for the second year in a row for her efforts. She will play for Mizzou this winter, and was ranked as the No. 26 prospect in the 2019 class by ESPN.

She finished her career with 3,004 points (No. 9 in state history), 1,629 rebounds (No. 1 in state history) and 824 assists (No. 5 in state history). Her career three-point shooting percentage of 54.3% is also a state record (minimum 100 made threes).

Her athletic resume did not end at basketball. Frank earned first-team all-state honors in spring softball on the infield after hitting .500 with 31 runs scored and 33 RBI. She was also a standout golfer finishing 23rd at the Class 2 state tournament.

“To think about the success that we had, the number of people that went into it, how special the community is at Strafford and the support we had is what makes it so special. I was just really blessed with great teammates and a great community,” Frank said of her and her teammate’s long list of accomplishments.

While this award is based on this season’s results, it is impossible not to reflect on Frank’s full career, as she claimed this award three consecutive years.

The depth of her accomplishments her and her teammates achieved and the memories they made did not fully hit her until the night before she left for Mizzou.

“The night before I was leaving (for Columbia), I went to the (Strafford) gym to shoot. It hadn’t hit me yet until than that I was actually leaving this place. I just reflected on just how good it was to me and all the good times I had. I honestly sat in the gym and cried for 30 minutes because it just all set in,” Frank said. “I have gotten through the tears and I am having a really good time. I had my first workout (at Mizzou) today and it is going really well. I definitely think when I did leave it helped me reflect back on how awesome all those memories were with my teammates in all the sports that I played.”

Many times senior athletes who have their college plans lined up will forego a spring sport to focus on graduating and their next chapter.

Frank’s competitiveness wouldn’t keep her off the softball diamond in her senior season.

“I finished basketball season and could have easily not played, but the other sports besides basketball would give me a break and take my mind off of that for a little while. I could just have fun and enjoy it,” Frank said. “Also, the competitiveness in me, I wanted to try and make another run in softball and just be there and have all those memories with my teammates.”

The legacy Frank and her teammates left will not be soon forgotten by Strafford, as the next generation of Strafford basketball players had a front row seat to the successes of the Lady Indians. She hopes it made an impact on the way they set their goals and the size of their dreams.

“I hope they (young Strafford athletes) take that you set your goals big and work as hard as you can and anything is possible. The results are going to be worth all of the grind and time that you put in to achieve your goals,” Frank said. “I was always the type of person that set really big goals and worked hard to achieve them. I hope that they see that and can be inspired to set their own goals and do really big things in their own life.”

Now Frank leaves her high school accolades behind and will have a new set of big goals to chase in Columbia.

“Each year this program (Mizzou Women’s Basketball) gets better and better. It is going to be tough losing Sophie (Cunningham), but our team is really focused and we have big goals. Every day we are going to work hard,” Frank said. “My coach and I have talked and we want to go to a Final Four and win a national championship. We aren’t quite there yet, but it is what we are working for. Like I had big goals at Strafford, I want to do big things here too.”