Updated: April 24, 2014 at 9:44 am
This is the fourth of 20 profiles about The Gazette's Best and Brightest Class of 2014.
With varsity sports have come injuries for Kendra Baucom. A lot of injuries.
"I have broken my nose several times, dislocated my jaw, broken toes, strained my knee and had almost every possible injury you can do to your fingers," she said.
Baucom, 17, has missed a season of soccer because of a broken arm and a season of volleyball because of a torn ligament and sprain. She's had to sit out several basketball games for various injuries. She unknowingly played in a two-day basketball tournament with a broken hand. Injured in the first game, she taped it and kept playing.
"I guess I have a really high pain tolerance," she said. "I had it checked out a day or two later, and it was broken."
Despite so many injuries, she never thought about quitting.
"They've always been part of my life," she said. "I don't want to give up."
Baucom, who served as team captain for all three sports, is drawn to the camaraderie and the team work.
"(Sports) teaches you about yourself, about others and how to lead in high-stress situations," she said. "They teach you to persevere."
Some of the more serious injuries have required physical therapy, often a painful process. But healing from these injuries has taught her how to overcome setbacks.
"After most injuries, especially the more serious ones, I have had to work hard and long just to return to the level of performance I had before I got hurt," she said. "We all have the ability to overcome the obstacles we encounter, to triumph over unexpected difficulties if we just dig deep and apply ourselves."
Baucom's other passion is art and she considers herself an athlete and an artist. But she's found only a few colleges combine arts and athletics.
"For someone like me who loves both, it is a sad thing to have to pick one passion over the other," she said.
She says maybe she'll start a nonprofit with a vision of meshing the love of art with the passion for athletics.
"I'll keep working on it," she said.
KENDRA BAUCOM, Colorado Springs School
Parents: Tom Baucom and Gerry Barnes-Baucom
College plans: Accepted to several colleges but undecided
Other: Colorado High School Activities Association Academic All-State, 1st Team; four art-based Experiential Centered Seminars; team captain for soccer, basketball and volleyball; National Honor Society; Heather Cogswell Female Athlete of the Year for two years; and president of the school's art club.