Barden earns MaxPreps Semper Fidelis Athlete of the MonthBy: Matt Long, Sports Editor
Oak Ridge junior Sophia Barden had a nice sendoff to the US Trials of Baton Twirling Tuesday, as she was awarded the Female MaxPreps Semper Fidelis High School Athlete of the Month for the month of March.
Barden received the award in front of family and classmates at a ceremony at Oak Ridge High Tuesday afternoon. A two-sport athlete at Oak Ridge in soccer and track and field, Barden’s best sport is baton twirling, something she’s been doing since she was 4 years old. She’s got more trophies and medals than she can count from the hundreds of local, state, regional, national and international competitions in which she’s competed.
Barden leaves Thursday for Shelbyville, Indiana, for the USA World Trials, as she will compete for a spot on the USA national team. She made the team two years ago and placed ninth overall in the world championships held in Sweden.
At Oak Ridge, Barden recently completed her junior soccer season in which she anchored the team’s defense as a center back. She’s been playing soccer since she was 9.
“When I found out that Sophia was highly skilled in another sport, it made sense,” Oak Ridge soccer coach Joe Champion said. “She’s ultra aggressive, and she wants to compete and win on the soccer field, just like she does at baton.”
Barden said she can’t imagine a future without both baton and soccer. Her goal is to get into college and to compete and succeed.
Barden received the MaxPreps Semper Fidelis High School Athlete of the Month from Andy Beal, the Founder and President of MaxPreps via Captain Joshua DeWalt of the United States Marine Corps.
“I want to thank MaxPreps and the Marines for this opportunity,” Barden said. “I’d also like to thank my parents, my school, my coaches and all those who have supported and helped me.”