For The Tribune

Becca Hensley recalled that while she was in middle school at Crothersville, she participated in athletics and became a cheerleader to be active.

“In middle school I joined them just to join them because they’re fun,” Hensley said. “I gained a love for them, a passion, and when I got to high school it was just something I wanted to continue on because I liked them so much.

“If I wouldn’t have gone out for sports in middle school I don’t think I would have in high school and I wouldn’t have had all the memories and all the fun I’ve had, and I definitely would have regretted it.”

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The senior has played basketball and volleyball and was a cheerleader for four years and is in her fourth season as a member of the track team.

This spring, Hensley will focus on the 100-meter hurdles, long jump, and the 400 and 4×400 relays.

She said she ran hurdles in middle school, then returned to them last year and she is working on getting her steps down.

“You want to stay as close to them as possible or you’ll be slower,” Hensley said. “The better I get on them the better I like them.

“I love the 400 relay. It’s my favorite event in track, actually. I’m the first leg. I would love to break our school record in the 4×100 relay.”

The 400, a distance between short and long, is challenging in good and bad ways to Hensley.

“I really like the 4×400,” Hensley said. “I like running 400 meters. It’s hard. At first I don’t want to run 400, but they’re good after I start. I lead off the 4×400. I like running in the first lane.”

Hensley competed in the long jump her freshman year, than sat out the past two seasons, and is looking forward to jumping this spring.

On the hardwood, Hensley was willing to help out on the basketball floor wherever she could.

“In basketball, I moved around a lot,” Hensley said. “My freshman year I was a point guard, and that was really rough being a freshman point-guard. This year it really depended who was in. If we had smaller girls I played down low, and if we had bigger girls I would play up top.

“It’s funny because when I was a freshman I always jumped center, and I told Kevin (Hensley, coach), ‘Kevin, I’m going to be your center one day, and this year he started me the first game at center and I thought it was really funny.”

Always active, Hensley had to work her cheerleading practices around the basketball practices and games.

“If I had basketball practice it always took priority because it was more competitive,” Hensley said. “Normally we only had cheer practice once a week, and she would schedule it for days that we didn’t have other practices, so it wasn’t really interfering.”

Despite her tight schedule, Hensley didn’t miss a beat cheering.

“I made all the dances this year, and the cheers and stuff so I already knew them,” Hensley said. “All I had to do was teach them. (The other senior cheerleaders) helped out a lot.

“I don’t have a study hall. I have 16 classes all together, and I’ve been really swamped, but I think it’s going to help me in college.”

The gymnastics routines were some of Hensley’s favorites during the winter.

“I love flying,” Hensley said. “That’s my favorite part of cheer. This year I didn’t think I was going to because we had a lot of smaller freshmen, but that’s the best thing in the world, go up in front of everybody and have everybody watching you. I like attention and that gave me a lot.”

Hensley was a three-year varsity starter in volleyball and played right side her sophomore year before moving to left side hitter the past two seasons as well as back row.

To Hensley, practice, and having a good mental outlook is important in all sports.

“Having a good mental outlook is probably the most important part of an athletic team anywhere.”

At a glance

Name: Rebecca Hensley

Parents: Robin Nehrt, Don Hensley

Siblings: Tiffany, Shawn

Sports: track 4 years, basketball 4 years, volleyball 4 years, cheerleading 4 years

Athletic highlights: basketball- coaches award, cheerleading- Paula Sweeney Award (cheerleader of excellence),

Organizations: Yearbook, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Plans after high school: Attend Indiana University Southeast

Attending CHS: “I’ve enjoyed it for the most part. There is a lot of drama here because it’s such a small school, but yes, I love it here.

“If I had to do anything differently I wouldn’t because I think the best part of high school sports is the memories you make.

Home basketball games: “The home games were great, especially this year. We’ve attracted bigger crowds the better we’ve gotten, and the crowd support is just great. I can’t explain how much that helps. This year we had our first winning record (14-11) since I’ve been playing.”

Home volleyball matches: “My freshman and sophomore years we attracted bigger crowds so they were really fun. My last two years they weren’t as exciting, but they were still great. The support is awesome here.”

Favorite away gym: West Washington, New Washington

Favorite food: pizza

Favorite TV show: “Criminal Minds”

Favorite team: Kentucky

Favorite quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.