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Beene steps it up, provides leadership

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Goddard senior Bailey Beene is passionate about whatever sport she participates in, whether it’s making a key basket in a tight game or tossing the javelin for a record throw, it’s who she is — competitive at every turn. Currently, the two-sport star athlete is wrapping up her basketball career, which included being on the 2017 state championship team.

“It was amazing. It was just a great feeling winning state,” said Beene. This year, however, Beene stepped up her role to become a leader for the team in an effort to get back to the Pit.

“Part of that is being a leading scorer this year, that has been one of my goals. Of course, my end goal is to help lead this team to state and win it all,” she said.

Beene has realized that leadership begins with gaining the respect of her teammates.

“I need to be there for them when they are not playing their best game,” she said. “I love all the girls on this team.”

But it all began with trusting her coach, Jared Neighbors, “We bought into what he was selling, and that was dedicating ourselves to be there for one another,” she said. “He (Neighbors) is a very wise coach, he knows his stuff and we follow.”

And what Neighbors has instilled in his team is confidence. The Lady Rockets have been in some tough games this season, where the confidence factor guided them to a win.

“That comes with being very composed,” Bailey pointed out. Case in point: The first meeting against Roswell High at the Den.

“They were playing lights-out for most of the game. But we hung in there, we got our confidence back, and won it in the end,” Beene said.

And with district play upcoming, and then the playoffs, “we got some work left to do,” she said.

In a few weeks the hoops season comes to and end it’s on to the track infield, where Beene will compete as a javelin thrower — which is a world away from being a basketball player.

“In basketball you’re around each other, you win together, you lose together, it’s fun being with one another. In track you’re still part of a team — the difference is you’re constantly competing against yourself, and when you win, you win on your own and you celebrate on your own,” she said.

As a javelin thrower, Beene understands that a poor throw could mean the difference between first and second place. “On a team sport, the other players will take up for you if you’re having a bad game. I have to be at my best when I am out there.”

And it helps when her parents are in the stands supporting her. “They have always been there for me at my games, I am very thankful for that.”

Beene also loves to perform in front of her younger siblings. “They always look up to me so much,” she said. “I always want to be a role model to them.”

As for her younger brother Hunter, who is a member of the Goddard boys basketball team, she likes to compete against him too, in pickup games.

“We’ll play a little two-on-two. I’ll think he’ll admit I’m the better athlete,” she said laughing.

So, what does the future hold for Bailey Beene? She hopes to earn a track scholarship to New Mexico State University, where she plans on pursuing a degree as an occupational therapist.

“It’s been so fun being a student athlete here at Goddard,” she said. “I’ll remember it forever.”