Saline's Payton Maloney is excited about the challenges ahead at the University of Michigan


Payton Maloney in action. photo by Dawn McCann

When looking to go to the next level, Saline’s Payton Maloney wanted to pick the college where she would be challenged athletically and academically.

She believes she’s found the right place in the University of Michigan. The Sun Times News reached out to her to talk about this exciting news.

“I felt super excited to commit to The University of Michigan,” she said. “I knew that it was the right school for me and that I would be pushed academically and athletically. Growing up I was always a huge Michigan fan, so when I signed here it felt like the right choice.”

She said Michigan has the major she’s hoping to pursue, but it also has many others that she would be interested in as well if she changed majors. She said she knows the classes will be hard, but they will prepare her for the future.

As far as athletics, she said she’s “very much looking forward to being a part of the field hockey program.”

“I love the team dynamic and how hard everyone works on and off the field,” she said. “I’ve already had the opportunity to spend some time with the team and they made me feel very welcome.”

Some highlights from her high school career include making Dream Team, receiving the All-League Award, First Team All-State, MVP award, All-State Academic Award, Saline Scholar-Athlete Award, Offensive Player of the Year, and All-Conference Award.

She’s also a standout on the basketball court. Competing as a Saline Hornet has meant a lot to her.

“The thing that stands out the most from my time at Saline was my teammates,” she said. “They pushed me every day at practice and during games to be my best. I knew that on and off the field I needed to be there for them as well and work hard for the team always. Even though we all worked hard, we also had a lot of fun.”

In thinking about the hard work put in and commitment made, she said she does feel like the hard work has paid off so far, “to at least get my foot in the door.”

“I have worked hard at practices and when I didn’t have a scheduled practice or game, I would practice on my own as well and do lots of conditioning to stay in shape,” said Maloney. “I know I still have a lot of hard work ahead of me and I am looking forward to it.”

Throughout the times of staying focused and working hard, she said there are some important people who helped and supported her along the way.

“Some people in my life that helped me achieve these goals are Erica Reilly, Maren Langford, Nancy Cox, and Keely Tamer. These coaches all had a significant impact on me and helped me become a better player. Each of them pushed me to do my best, gave me great advice, and always provided great feedback,” she said. “My parents also helped me achieve my goals, I will forever be grateful to them for always being supportive, giving me honest feedback, making it possible for me to get everywhere I needed to be, and for all the sacrifices they made for me to play.”

There’s still much to do at Saline High School, but Maloney is looking forward to what’s next.

“I can’t wait for the fall of 2023 to be a student and also be a part of the University of Michigan Field Hockey team,” she said. “Go Blue!”

Payton Maloney at left. photo by Dawn McCann
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