HC’s Taulbee is a three-sport standout who also stars in classroom

By Chad Middleton, Contributing Writer

While many athletes of today choose to specialize in one sport, Harlan County senior Leah Taulbee prefers a more varied approach to athletics as she balances three sports while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.

“I love the sports. It’s good to be active and to stay involved in your school. I love the family that comes with playing a sport. I wouldn’t trade my running family or my soccer family for anything!” she said. “In the fall, I typically have cross country practice straight after school then soccer practice. I usually won’t get home till around 8.”

Taulbee’s coaches are impressed by her ability to excel in three sports, including two going on at the same time. She is a member of both the cross country and soccer teams in the fall as the sports are played at the same time.

“It is hard enough to excel at one sport, but Leah has found a way to balance the grueling practices and matches of soccer and cross county and excel at both,” said HCHS soccer coach Troy Gaw.

“Leah is a wonderful kid and such an important part of our program. She always has a positive attitude and is 100 percent a team-oriented kid,” added cross country and track coach Ryan Vitatoe. “She is such an incredible teammate. She cares more about her team than anything she accomplishes singularly, and that’s one of the things that makes her so special.”
Taulbee also excels in the classroom and is on her way to becoming valedictorian. She participates in several clubs and is secretary of the National Honor Society, a First Priority leader and a member of the Spanish Honor Society.

“I’m in just about every club you can be in,” she said. “I love the interaction and being able to help others in any way I can.”

Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Taulbee moved to Evarts when she was in the second grade. Her father, Dax, is assistant pastor of Stillwater Baptist Church. She attends church with the rest of her direct family including her mother, Amanda, and her brother, Isaac.

“We really like it here,” said Taulbee. “I couldn’t make it without the Lord in my life. He is my strength and where I find my comfort. I am blessed to be able to say I was raised in a Christian home. My happiness comes from the Lord, my family, and my friends. My favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6.”

“One of the most admirable things about Leah is her faith,” Vitatoe said. “She is such a light to everyone around her, and I can’t think of a time that her light isn’t shining. She’s such a great kid and we are fortunate to have her as part of our program.”

“Leah is a great young woman. She is an inspiration to the team, being a positive role model to all the younger players,” added Gaw. “She has been a pleasure to coach. The team and I will really miss her when she graduates.”