There is a saying that “sports don’t build character, they reveal it.”
For Cole Camp senior Gabbi Mallard, sports have helped to develop the person she has become today and have led the recent graduate to her chosen career path.
“I have been accepted to MU (University of Missouri-Columbia) to study athletic training and conditioning,” Mallard said. “I have always had a love of sports and have been interested in them, especially volleyball, and that has helped me to choose this field.
Our trainer at school has helped me a lot and is an awesome person and I want to help others in that manner,” Mallard added. “I’ve never really had any injuries other than a few ankle sprains but I have noticed the work that DeLee Leach does for others and I admire what she does.”
Leach is a certified athletic trainer from Bothwell Regional Health Center who is present at Cole Camp athletic events.
Mallard does not just admire Leach, but the entire staff at Cole Camp Schools.
“Cole Camp is an awesome school from the preschool through the high school, they really do prepare us for the rest of our lives,” Mallard said. “I think they appreciate and respect the students here and they want us to do well in whatever we choose after graduation.
“The teachers here are really qualified and when I go to college I think I will be ready for it because I have done it in my high school classes,” Mallard added. “I don’t know if other students have had that chance.”
Mallard was involved in several organizations at school that helped enrich her high school experience. She served as the president of student council, was a member of FCA, NHS and FCCLA, served as a cadet teacher and has been involved in the drama productions at the school. Mallard was also the 2014 Cole Camp Fair Parade Queen.
“I have a lot of memories of high school, some of the ones I remember the most involve volleyball and sports,” Mallard said. “We’ve won 11 championships in the last four years and I think we realize what it takes to come out with a win.”
If Mallard has any regrets from high school, not participating in all of the athletic opportunities she had is one.
“I didn’t play all of the sports that I started out with in high school and I really regret that,” Mallard said. “I think that is something I would tell everyone is don’t wish your life away and take all of the opportunities you are given because if you don’t you will regret it later.
“I don’t think a person should step in too quickly to anything, but they should try to do as many things as they can,” she added.
Mallard pointed to her grandmother as a person she admired because of the way she lived.
“My Grandma Kindle passed away in 2005,” Mallard said. “She was always so outgoing and loved people so much.
“She always treated people in a good, kind way and she said to treat others in a way that will make them want to give back,” she added. “I think if I can live my life the way she did, I will be happy.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484