JACKSON — Ask anyone who has coached Kylee Bako, they'll tell you the same thing about her.
Relentless, tough, leader, high character, coachable, and the list goes on and on.
Those traits have followed her throughout her three-sport career playing volleyball, basketball and softball.
Although her senior year of softball has been temporarily taken from her due to the coronavirus pandemic, her playing days aren't over as she inked to Ohio Christian University to further her softball career.
The Courier caught up with Bako to discuss her high school career, Jackson's potential for this season, her faith and much more.
Question: Before all this coronavirus pandemic took over, you guys were slated for a huge season with eight starters returning. What goals did you all set out to accomplish this year?
Bako: We were all looking forward to this season. We actually got to play in a scrimmage at Zane Trace against Oak Hill, Zane Trace, and Logan. We performed really well for it to be so early in the season. We were hoping to become four time back-to-back-to-back-to-back league champions, win sectional, and to go as far as we could in the tournament.
Q: Being that this was your senior year, in what areas of your game were you working on to make yourself even better?
B: Growing up, my grandpa constantly told me there was always room to improve. Therefore, I’ve always said that there’s never any excuse for someone to work harder than you. I was looking to become better defensively, I had started at third base the past three years and I was working to transition to shortstop. I was hoping to improve my batting percentage as well.
Q: With there still being a small possibility of having even a shortened season, how have you been staying prepared and getting ready for the season?
B: Every morning before I start my school work, I try to work out to stay in shape. Most days I run or walk three to four miles. Then, I do my school work. After dinner, I hit and take groundballs.
Q: You’re a three sport athlete playing volleyball, basketball and softball. How did you ultimately fall in love with softball?
B: I have a different love for each of the three sports, however, softball was just a sport of so much uncertainty. People rank teams, however, you have to be able to play good defense while at least scoring one more run than the other team. I personally grew up around my grandpa who constantly pushed me in that sport and Emileigh Cooper was from Ray also and she went Division I. I always looked up to her passion and drive for the game. I enjoyed watching her play. I grew up wanting to pitch, but eventually realized I was more of an asset to my team being a defense player. I remember pitching and I’d miss short of the glove and run until I got it right. This sport has always been a way to connect to my grandpa after he passed.
Q: You’ve been through two senior nights already with volleyball and basketball. What does having a senior night in general mean to you?
B: A senior night to me means enjoying and reflecting on these past few years. I have a different bond with each of the teams and each team means so much to me.
Q: You made a decision to continue your softball career at Ohio Christian. What made it the right school for you?
B: As a sophomore and Junior, I went on a lot of college visits, however Ohio Christian felt like home. I have always had such a strong love for Jesus. I love the idea of getting education while learning more about my Lord and Savior. I also really loved Coach Huff and I knew she had a competitive nature.
Q: I’ve seen you post countless times on Twitter in regards to your faith. What’s your favorite bible verse and why?
B: That’s such a hard one for me. However, I’d say my favorite Bible verse is Colossians 3:23; “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” This verse means a lot to me because without God, I believe that we are nothing. I am so thankful for the talent and ability He has blessed me with and He deserves all the glory.
Q: Looking back on your high school career, is there one moment or performance that sticks out above the rest?
B: Looking back I have so many memories from all three sports that I’m forever grateful for, but the one moment that sticks out to me the most is winning senior night during basketball season. This means so much to me because it was on February 5th, it was a hard day for us because it was the day Emileigh passed in 2016. Our basketball team worked so hard day in and day out and it was a big win for us. That’s a moment I will never forget.