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Oak Hills sophomore Kailee Hebert is a winner on and off the field

Posted at 7:31 AM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 18:37:05-04

GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Oak Hills High School sophomore Kailee Hebert is a successful multi-sport athlete.

But that doesn't even begin to describe her enthusiastic approach for competing in all three high school seasons.

"She is a winner," Oak Hills girls soccer coach Kevin Spraul said. "She wants to win. She wants to compete. And she understands her role as well -- no matter what you put her in."

Hebert, 15, participates in four sports for the Highlanders. Those include football and soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter and softball in the spring.

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"Kailee is everything that we want our student-athletes to be," Oak Hills athletic director Ben Hageman said. "Her dedication to the classroom in addition to being a four-sport athlete takes incredible dedication and commitment."

This fall, Hebert is a kicker on the varsity football team and a center back on the junior varsity girls soccer team. She also manages to play club softball on the weekends when her time allows.

"It's just important to me because I feel like if I played one sport I'd get super stressed about it," Hebert said. "And being able to play multiple sports you can have a mind break from one sport and go to the next and just be like, 'OK, this is great.' And you can just stop worrying about one sport for a little bit."

Oak Hills sophomore Kailee Hebert plays center back on the junior varsity girls soccer team. She has also appeared in some varsity games this season.

Hebert, who lives in Delhi Township, also has a rigorous academic schedule with the likes of Advanced Placement human geography, honors algebra, chemistry and art classes.

She is motivated academically by the fact she wants to be sure she can continue playing sports throughout the school year.

"I know that when we had a month off when we didn't go back to school (this past spring) -- it was really hard for me to keep my stuff on time going in, keeping up the grades because I had nothing to work for," Hebert said.

"But sports -- if I have bad grades I can't play -- so it just helps me keep my grades up because I know that I probably wouldn't put in as much effort if I didn't have anything to put it toward."

Hebert started playing football in kindergarten for the Little Highlanders, the youth feeder program for Oak Hills, and started kicking in third grade.

Kailee Hebert 3.jpg
Oak Hills sophomore Kailee Hebert started kicking in the third grade.

Jodee Hebert, Kailee's mother, said as long as Kailee's grades were strong throughout school she wouldn't make her daughter choose between sports.

Time management may be the most significant challenge for Kailee. With a practice or game each weeknight in the fall, she has to be cognizant about completing her homework.

Football practice is usually right after school, followed by soccer practice from 7:30 to 9 p.m. That leaves about 90 minutes for a quick dinner and some homework.

The busy fall schedule makes Kailee even more focused in the classroom, and Kailee can't see herself anywhere else but at Oak Hills.

"It's a lot of community and just a lot of us understanding each other," Hebert said. "It's a really good environment. I love it here. All the boys are so nice to me. All the soccer girls -- we all are such a good group. All of my sports -- we kind of just come together. And I'd rather hang out with them than just people in school."

Jodee Hebert couldn't be more proud of her daughter for her perseverance in the classroom on and off the field.

Kailee also has been part of a leadership academy and has volunteered with a group to help others in need around Cincinnati.

"She keeps herself out of bad situations," Jodee said. "She doesn't go to parties. She doesn't want anything to affect her future. And I think sports have really helped her with that."

Hebert will have plenty of options in the future. For now, she's staying in the moment.

"Very quickly I realized that Kailee -- this is important to her," Oak Hills football coach Justin Roden said. "Soccer is important, but being a good kicker, that's right up there with everything else that she does."

Softball may be her best sport. The center fielder and third baseman has aspirations of playing in college in the south.

She's also interested in a veterinary program because of her affinity for animals with two dogs and a cat at home.

Wherever her path leads, the Oak Hills community knows she will succeed. The coaches are confident she is on the right path.

"This whole program -- we're all every single day trying to get better and do things the right way," Roden said. "And she does that. And to have a player that's doing both sports and modeling the behavior that you want in the hallways, in the community and on the football field, I couldn't ask for more from her."