PDT Sports Editor
WHEELERSBURG — What better way to culminate a four-year high school athletic career than having the chance to play at the next level.
For Hailee Barbarits, the opportunity has come to fruition as she has committed to play softball at Wingate University.
“I really like the school and the coaches were very nice, and the players were very personable,” Barbarits said.
The Wheelersburg senior is going to play a variety of spots as the Bulldogs plan on using Barbarits as a utility player, which suits Barbarits demeanor.
“I just want to contribute to the team as a valuable player,” Barbarits said. “I am going to work to get into games and just practice hard.”
Barbarits has been preparing for this moment through out her career.
“I see it (high school career) as a building process,” Barbarits said. “From my freshman year to my senior year, there have been a lot of goals I’ve tried to accomplish. It’s been a work in progress. My ultimate goal was to sign with Wingate.”
Despite reaching her goal, Barbarits knows her collegiate career will be a battle.
“I’m really hard on myself,” Barbarits said. “I try to challenge myself and compare myself against other players.”
The term student-athlete fits Barbarits well as she is fierce on the diamond and committed in the classroom. Entering her senior year, Barbarits sports a 3.95 Grade Point Average, which ranks fourth in her class.
“We have high academic standards here at Wheelersburg and for her to be fourth in her class shows how hard she’s working,” Wheelersburg Athletic Director Chris Porter said. “If you look across the board, our team averages (GPA) are very high and with people like her on the team, it pushes the younger kids and sets a good example for the younger kids to excel in the classroom as well.”
Despite the academic success, Barbarits knows college will provide a different challenge.
“I will need to keep up with my studies. Right now, I don’t usually study … ,” Barbarits said jokingly.
With her current success on and off the diamond, Barbarits is thankful to have a support system that allows her to have the opportunity to prosper.
“My mom and papaw have played a huge part,” Barbarits said. “My mom drives me all over creation because I play travel ball, so it never ends. My papaw practices with me. He takes me out multiple times a week. He has really helped develop me as a player.”
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 298, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Chris on Twitter @crslone.