The three-sport senior-to-be looks foward to her final year at Forest Grove on the court and diamond

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Kinsey Barnett defends an inbound pass during a game last season at Forest Grove High School.Competition can bring out the best in a person, and sometimes the worst. In the case of Forest Grove's Kinsey Barnett, it's both.

"I'm very competitive, and sometimes a little over-competitive," Barnett said with a chuckle. "I get a little upset with myself when I don't perform to my abilities."

And she is able.

The senior-to-be has been a starting varsity softball and volleyball player since her freshman year, played on the varsity basketball team since her sophomore season and is on pace to earn 11 letters by graduation. But while she's made her mark on various courts and diamonds, Barnett got her start in athletics on a field she no longer frequents.

"I initially started playing soccer," she said. "But I quit because I thought it was too mean [that] I always stole the ball from the other team."

From there, after she "toughened up a bit," Barnett took to the court, hardwood and diamond, following in the footsteps of her parents, Jeff Barnett and Vicki Vanloo, who were both avid athletes, Vanloo in high school and Barnett at both the high school and collegiate level.

"My parents never really pushed me to play," said Barnett. "But because they had played, I always wanted to."

Barnett excelled in all three sports last season, earning honorable mention all-Greater Valley Conference honors in each. But while gifted athletically, her greatest assets might be her work ethic and team leadership. Forest Grove High School head varsity softball coach Katy Brosig speaks highly of Barnett, and pointed out her ability to motivate and lead through both actions and words.

"Kinsey is one of the most competitive and supportive athletes that I have worked with at FGHS," Brosig said. "She is an excellent shortstop with tons of potential at the plate, but most importantly in the dugout she is the loudest supporter of her teammates and always keeps a positive attitude in times of frustration."

Forest Grove's head varsity basketball coach, Dan Lumpkin, agreed with Brosig's assessment, reiterating Barnett's exemplary work ethic and "amazing" leadership qualities. But also spoke to her skills on the court and coachability that set her apart.

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Kinsey Barnett tossing a ball back to the pitcher following an out at second base during a game last season."She's a dual offensive threat, who can shoot the ball very well from long-range and attack the basket," Lumpkin said. "And defensively, she was a top rebounder, a very aggressive on-ball defender and is always looking for ways to improve."

Lumpkin expects Barnett to have a big senior year, but also said it will be sad when Kinsey and the rest of her senior class are gone.

"We have many exceptional girls in our program, and Kinsey is a perfect example of what we are about: a team-first mentality, good character, integrity and hard work," he said. "It will be sad when their time comes to conclusion."

In addition to her parents, Barnett mentioned former club softball coach Pete Gonzalez and ex-Forest Grove High softball coach Trevor Tusow as inspirational people in her athletic life, as well as Lumpkin, all of whom pushed her to be better and to commit to the sport beyond the season itself.

"They're a lot of the reason I'm at the level I'm at now," said Barnett.

Sitting at an all-league level with at least part of her eye on a potential college career, Barnett isn't opposed to the idea of playing one or more sports after high school. But Barnett, a 3.7 GPA student and has been a Greater Valley Conference all-Academic selection in all three sports, is more focused on what she may want to study once she gets to her school of choice.

She has interests in a number of different areas, including business, education, psychology and even dentistry, but what she studies could be closely tied to where she decides to do it.

"I've thought about going to Oregon State," she said. "But I've talked to family members about future careers, and if I choose dentistry, I could end up at OHSU."

So what does a budding-senior, standout athlete and honor student do with her summer? Play more sports.

COURTESY PHOTO - Forest Grove's Kinsey Barnett digs a ball during a beach volleyball tournament at Seaside earlier this summer.Barnett, who admitted to likely going crazy without sports, competed in summer basketball and paired with volleyball and basketball teammate Emily Huson in a couple recent beach volleyball tournaments, even finishing second last week in an event at The Courts in Beaverton.

The competition keeps her busy and also is a prelude to the senior seasons to come. Besides Barnett, the Vikings lost all their starters from last year's volleyball team and will be rebuilding. But on the basketball court and softball diamond, Barnett sees a lot of potential.

"With basketball, we have such great team chemistry because we've been playing together for so long," she said. "And although we lost some key seniors in softball, I'm confident we'll have a good team."

Either way, they will compete, and Kinsey Barnett wouldn't have it any other way.

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