All-State. To some, those words mean the peak of High School athletics. But to Grove senior Macee Barnes, they’re just the beginning.
Starting with Softball
Barnes began playing softball at a very young age, coming from a family that was rooted in both softball and baseball.
“I was constantly around softball and baseball. It was like, ‘if you’re going to rep[resent] this family, then you’ve got to play softball or baseball’,” said Barnes. “I’ve definitely played more softball than any other sport.”
During her high school career with the Lady Red softball team, Barnes has hit a total of fourteen home runs. Barnes says that if she included her home runs from her traveling team, she has no idea what the number would be.
In fact it was when her older sister Megan received her All-State jacket that Barnes really decided that was a goal for herself.
“Once I saw her get her jacket, I though ‘Okay, I’m going to strive to get an All-State jacket too’,” said Barnes.
Bouncing to Basketball
Shortly after her athletic career began, Barnes picked up her second sport, basketball. Barnes began playing in a little league in Miami, Oklahoma.
“My dad was the coach,” said Barnes. “I just remember being so competitive when I was little. I would get so mad if I got a foul called on me.”
One game in particular stands out in Barnes’ memory. The referee had just called a foul on Barnes and had turned away to the scorers table.
“I chunked the ball at him while he wasn’t looking,” said Barnes. “My dad benched me.”
Barnes says her competitive drive doesn’t stem from her hatred of losing, but instead comes from her desire to be the best.
“No matter who we’re playing, or a specific team, I always strive to be the best,” said Barnes. “I have to check out their best player and see what she is does that I can’t and then I’m going to try to beat her at her own game.”
As for her jersey number, Barnes says that there wasn’t much rhyme or reason to it.
“A sophomore picked number twenty-three, which is the number I wanted just because of Michael Jordan. I got twenty-four and I was fine with being Kobe Bryant,” said Barnes. “I didn’t want to keep changing my number.”
Although both basketball and softball require teamwork, they are very different games, and both are enjoyed by Barnes.
Taking on Track
For a spring sport, Barnes got into track and field, primarily running the 400 meter dash and the 4 x 800 meter relay. Barnes says that the relay is her favorite.
“I can rely on the other girls to also have to run an 800 and die,” said Barnes. “We won State in the 4 x 800, so there’s a lot of sentimental feelings with that.”
Barnes says that her favorite thing about track is being pushed mentally by her coach, Warren Brumley.
“There were days where he’d be like ‘come on girls, go a little faster’ and I’d be like ‘Coach Brumley, you’re not running right now, you have no clue’,” said Barnes. “I would honestly thank him now because he truly encouraged my mental health by [making me] push myself.”
The first time Barnes heard her name in connection with ‘All-State’ was at the 2018 State Championship meet. The team won the 4 x 800 meter relay and with that win came the automatic title of All-State.
This is also Barnes favorite moment in sports thus far.
“It was right after we won State,” said Barnes. “Rory [Geer], she was our fourth runner and whenever she crossed that finish line, I was just so happy we did that.”
The second time Barnes became an All-Stater was in the fall of 2018. The softball team wrapped up a 28-9 season and Barnes was announced with the title. For the softball title, coaches present states and vote on the season’s All-State athletes.
Barnes found out that she had three-peated earlier this month during the Lady Red basketball banquet.
“I was super excited since not everyone gets to do that. I was just proud of myself for accomplishing something so rare,” said Barnes.
All-State basketball requires a try-out, where hopefuls play in front of coaches and the top fifteen are then selected for the honors.
Facing the Future
Barnes has signed with Oklahoma State University to play softball in the fall and elected not to compete in track for the 2019 season. Barnes reports to OSU the first week of June. Although undecided on a major, Barnes says she is leaning towards health science or biology.
Barnes says that her impressive throwing arm is thanks to her hero.
“My hero is honestly God,” said Barnes. “As I’ve gotten older and I’ve realized that every single little thing He has helped me with. He’s definitely my hero. Everything happens for a reason and as I get older I realize that more and more.”
To other athletes, Barnes has this piece of advice.
“Always work hard and push yourself,” said Barnes “You’re never going to regret it if you look back and know that you pushed yourself as hard as you possibly could.”
To all of her coaches, Barnes thanks them for the investment that they have made in her life. To her family Barnes thanks them for their support, especially her parents, Shelly and John.