Meet the Ath’elite’: Carly Barkus

Carly Barkus, Unified Sports


Senior Carly Barkus cheers with her friends during a Unified Cheer performance. Photo courtesy of @MSHSactivities.

Ally Seevers, Sports Editor

Athlete: Carly Barkus, Class of 2021

Team: Unified Sports

“I got involved my sophomore year because I started to notice more people with disabilities throughout the school and I became more aware of the discrimination people with disabilities have to face on a daily basis,” Barkus said. “I want to be a part of the change, not only in the school but in my community.”

“A friend of mine who graduated a few years ago, Carly Renken, was a big reason why I got involved, along with Kali Herbolsheimer,” Barkus said. “They were both speakers and leaders at the youth summit I went to my freshman year and their passion for all this rubbed off on me. The friends I’ve made throughout my experience with the sports have helped me stay motivated and have kept me passionate,” she said.

Favorite Unified Sport: Unified Cheer

Carly is one of the most involved unified partners, participating in five out of the six sports offered at the school. “I participate in unified bowling, basketball, cheer, volleyball, and track,” Barkus said. “The only one I don’t participate in is softball.”

Being one of the most active partners in the program, Barkus has lost motivation in what she does sometimes, saying, “I’m also involved in other unified movements, other clubs in and outside of school, and I also maintain a job, so sometimes I can get burned out and unmotivated.”

But she is able to stay focused and motivated through the help of the athletes. 

“When I show up to practice every day or just see them in the hallways and say hi, it’s always really nice to see them happy and smiling, because they always make me happy,” Barkus said. “I get a hug from Wyatt every day and major sass from Corina and Courtnay, so I’m going to miss my friends the most once I graduate. They’re my favorite people to be around.”

“My favorite thing about unified sports is the friendships that it has provided me. I’ve met so many great people,” she said. “If someone is having a bad day, we all come together and cheer each other up. We have a special bond that makes every practice have such a happy atmosphere.”

If you want to join the unified movement, you can contact Mrs. Belter, Mr. Throne, or Mrs. Elam. “People should join because it’s not only a great experience, but the people and the experiences can teach you a lot,” Barkus said.

Barkus has done so much for the school’s unified program and athletes and will be heavily missed once she graduates this spring.

“I just want to say thank you to all the athletes for making the past three years of knowing them the best years in high school. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about them and how happy they make me, and that will continue after I graduate,” she said.