March 16, 2006
Auburn senior Krista Barts has grit and determination in her blood.
Since the day Barts was born, she has overcome obstacle after obstacle, making her the type of person that most people can only dream about becoming. The obstacles she has overcome have made her a person that will fight to become whatever she desires.
"Krista has been a great teammate in her three seasons with the Tigers," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "She's always there to pick somebody up. Krista has worked real hard to prepare herself for her senior season. She's capitalized on any opportunity she has gotten."
Barts was born with severely crooked feet. The problem required her to undergo years of orthopedic therapy and for the first several years of her life; she had to wear orthopedic braces and shoes to help her correct the problem.
Although most people would consider this complication as something that would devastate a person for life, Barts would not let it hold her back.
"It is really a testament to the type of work ethic and determination that Krista has that she could ever have become the type of athlete that she is now," Krista's father, Denny Barts, said. "She will do whatever she has to do to accomplish what she sets her mind to."
"It is a major accomplishment for me to be playing Division I softball at a school like Auburn with all that I have had to overcome," Krista Barts said. "My parents taught me to never give up and that once you start something, you finish it."
When she was young, Krista's parents instilled in her a character of strength and determination that has helped her accomplish goals that many would consider impossible for someone born with her complication.
From a very young age Krista learned what determination was. Everyone in her family exhibited that quality, especially her grandfather.
"When I was little, my grandfather had his legs amputated from the waist down, but he didn't let that ruin his life," Krista said. "He was determined to walk my aunt down the aisle when she got married. He got prosthetics and worked really hard. Seeing him succeed made me know that I could succeed."
Krista's mother, Brenda, believes that experience is one of the main reasons that Barts is like she is, someone who never gives up.
"Krista was about six or seven when he was amputated from his waist down because of a rare form of cancer," Brenda said. She was little and she accepted him. She saw him push through it and I think that helps Krista know that she can accomplish anything."
The impeccable character that Krista is well-known for is evident not only on the field but also off it as well. Krista's mother said that her daughter has an "unbelievable spirit and huge heart."
Barts' enthusiasm for life and the way she treats other people is evident in how others are drawn to her.
"Everyone loves Krista," Brenda said. "From the biggest football player to anyone else that she comes in contact with, I can't think of anyone who hasn't been drawn to her and to the type of person that she is."
Krista will leave behind a legacy of not only being one of the most fun-loving and comedic members of the 2006 Auburn softball team, but also that of what any athlete should hope to one day become.
"Krista is competitive, has great athletic ability, and still remains the type of teammate that always puts others first," Brenda Barts said.
"I never gave up even when things got tough," Krista said. "When I leave Auburn I want to be remembered as someone who always persevered and was a leader that was always there."
If anything, Barts proved that competitive spirit earlier this season. In her first at bat of the season and third of her career, she hit a home run to left field in the team's second game of the year.
It is that kind of symbol that defines Barts best.