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Liz Barker, Alex Vail and Hogan Smith were recognized for competing in three sports for all four years of high school

LON AUSTIN - Liz Barker, Alex Vail and Hogan Smith hoist a 'CC' flag after receiving recogntion for their athletic achievements.

Liz Barker, Alex Vail and Hogan Smith were recognized by Crook County High School this past week for competing in three sports for all four of their high school careers.

For the accomplishment, the three received a blue and gold wool blanket with the letters "CC" in the center.

It is obvious that the accomplishment is difficult or more athletes would do it.

"It's cool to be recognized," said Vail who competed in cross country, wrestling and track and field each of his four years of high school. "Doing multiple sports is definitely better than sticking to one like running or wrestling or basketball. I have learned that personally because I really thought that running was my sport and then I actually went to place at state for wrestling and haven't done so hot in the running."

Smith, who competed in football, basketball and golf during his four years of high school agreed that there are plenty of reasons to diversify.

"It takes a lot of dedication to apply yourself to three different sports," he said. "There are a lot of kids out there who are specialized on one sport, or even two sports, but three is just a whole new level. Not very many people can do it. I've learned that there are things you can learn in all sports that will help you even if you like one more than the others. It all comes back around. Not specializing will broaden your horizons and make you a more complete athlete and complete person because you are going to get experiences that you wouldn't get by only doing one single thing."

Barker also said that playing multiple sports is rewarding, but she focused more on the social advantages of diversifying than the athletic accomplishments.

"It is a big advantage because you get to know more people," she said. "Especially freshmen who are coming to a new school, you get put into sports right away and you get to know everyone. You get those connections with upper classmen, so it's nice."

Barker, who played volleyball, basketball and softball during her high school career, acknowledged that playing multiple sports takes a lot of work, but she said it is worth it.

"It does take a lot of work," she added. "It takes a lot of time out of your day and the whole year you don't get any breaks. You just keep going. It's a lot of work to do school on top of it, but, I think it's cool. I'm excited for my blanket."

Speaking for Barker and Vail, Smith added "I think it's an enormous accomplishment. It's something not everybody does or is able to do. So, I feel proud of myself and these two others here with me that have accomplished this."

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