Charlie Obaugh RV & Outdoor Center Student Athlete of the Week: Baylee Blalock
FORT DEFIANCE, Va. (WHSV) - Baylee Blalock is an award-winning three-sport standout at Fort Defiance High School who helped her school win Regional Championships in two sports in 2022.
“My biggest driver is obviously to succeed but it’s to succeed for my teammates. I think the people who surround me in all these sports are so motivating and just to succeed for them and be as good as I can so we can win. It’s not as much for me as it is for the people around me,” said Blalock, a senior at Fort Defiance High School.
Blalock has had a decorated career at Fort Defiance. In Volleyball this fall she won District and Region Player of the Year and helped guide her team to the Region 3C Championship.
“My favorite thing about volleyball is that it is just such a fast pace and you have to have energy to be successful in the sport. Being in the gym every day and you’re kind of forced to have energy and be enthusiastic so it’s been really cool to play a sport that’s so high on energy where you have to be positive all the time,” she said.
Blalock is also a standout in softball and several months before winning the region in volleyball she helped the Fort Defiance Softball team win its first Region Title since 1991.
“All those girls I’ve played with since I was younger, they’re all like older sisters to me so just being able to do that and win with them and coming together at the end of the game in a big hug, it was just a great moment for all of us,” she said.
For her senior year, Blalock also decided to play basketball where her father is on the coaching staff and she is currently leading the team in rebounds.
“It’s just a pleasure coaching her and having her on the team. For somebody that hasn’t played since 7th grade, she’s a quick learner and getting better every day,” said Fort Defiance Girls Basketball Head Coach Mike Gale.
Gale said that Blalock’s work ethic is very impressive.
“She comes to practice every day and works hard. She even asked me the other day of somebody she could watch do our style of play so she could pick up some things. The next day she said she watched that video and was questioning me on why they didn’t things, that’s unusual, there are not many people that would’ve done that so quickly,” he said.
Blalock is also a very successful student with an outstanding 4.3 GPA.
“Being a student-athlete is the most important thing because even though athletics are still important being a student and still doing really well in the classroom has always been something I’ve been really proud of. Even since Elementary and Middle School, I was always really focused on my school,” said Blalock.
Blalock plans to attend Clemson in the fall and her teachers have no doubt she’ll succeed there.
“Baylee is an excellent student. The determination and drive that the community sees in Baylee on the court and on the field are exactly what teachers see in the classroom,” said Jennifer Landes, an English and Public Speaking Teacher at Fort Defiance High School.
Coaches and teachers both say that Blalock has excellent leadership skills.
“She’s willing to ask questions and trying to do the right thing. It’s been great just having her around and being a positive influence on everyone else,” said Gale. “She’s stepping up and being a little more vocal basketball-wise. She understands what we’re trying to do, she’s very positive and supportive of everyone so there’s no doubt she’s a great leader.”
Jennifer Landes said that Blalock always looking to help others.
“Yes she’s a leader, yes she’s a role model but most importantly I see Baylee as an encourager. She encourages not only her teammates but her peers in the classroom as well. She likes to succeed and she wants others to succeed,” she said.
Despite all of her athletic achievements, Blalock said she hopes the mark she leaves on Fort Defiance as she prepares to graduate is the positive impact she has had on others.
“In sports or even at school I want people to remember me as someone who just has fun and brings light to everybody. Even if that’s in school or just in the classroom I want people to remember me as someone who makes people around me happy and laugh,” she said.
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