Lady Tiger Soccer has nothing but a good reputation throughout campus and the district for their hardworking attitudes and high spirits. One team member, senior Bailey Bender, not only has had an outstanding experience with Lady Tiger Soccer but also has a journey ahead of her that is both interesting and different from the typical plan of a graduating high school senior.
Bender was the girl who did not come out of her shell very easily. That was until she joined Lady Tiger Soccer and met the girls who would have a huge impact on her, pushing her to become the more outspoken person she is today.
“My experience [with Lady Tiger Soccer] has been great. I started off as a freshman and I fell in love with the girls, the sport, and the program. It’s really allowed me to come out of my shell and be a better person,” Bailey Bender said.
She is very involved in soccer and absolutely loves being part of such a friendly and hard working team. But if she had not join Lady Tiger Soccer, she admits that she may not have been as involved.
“I definitely wouldn’t be as involved. The soccer team really forced me to come out of my shell and do things that I wouldn’t have imagined myself doing and meet people that I probably wouldn’t have met if I wasn’t on the team,” Bender said.
Aside from soccer, Bailey Bender is also in NHS and Bell Guard. She is also a commended National Merit Scholar and ranks at the top of her senior class. Thanks to her astounding organization skills, she is able to keep herself focused and at the top of her game at all times.
“It’s definitely a good planner. I write everything that I have to do in my planner in order to make sure that I keep myself organized and I have to really make sure that I stay on the ball and use my time wisely,” Bender said.
High school has been quite a ride for us all and with all that she has going in her life, Bender says that her senior year is one of her best years of high school but also looks forward to what lies ahead of her.
“I think like a lot of people I’m kind of ready to go off to college. But senior year has definitely been one of the best years that I’ve had in high school with my friends and with my activities and with my classes,” Bender said.
A lot of Mansfield High’s seniors are applying to colleges all over the country. Bailey Bender however has a different plan in mind. She is going to Scotland and is attending the University of Edinburgh in the fall. But aside from studying abroad, she hopes to learn about Scottish culture and get the full European experience.
“My grandmother was an English citizen and she immigrated to the United States and she always used to tell me stories about how wonderful it was over there. And my mom encouraged me to apply internationally because she said the best time to travel is in college. I’ve always wanted to travel and this is really going to allow me to open up my horizons. Over the weekends and the holidays I can travel to different areas around Europe and really find out more about other nations and their cultures,” Bender said.
Bender is very grateful for all of the fortunate things that have happened to her in high school. There are a few people she would like to give thanks to for making these four years ones to remember
“I just want to give a shoutout to my friends on the soccer team for always helping me to push myself to be better and for my teachers for helping me through the four years,” Bender said.
High school has given us memories that we will hold onto for the rest of our lives. As for Bailey Bender, high school has given her the opportunity to reach her full potential and discover new things about herself and what she is capable of. Even though she has a lot to juggle, she shows us that no matter how much you have on your plate, hard work and focusing on what matters will take you to where you want to be and beyond.