Shelby Littlefield, a sophomore at Liberty High School, has been playing sports most of her life. She takes three honors courses, orchestra, journalism and dance classes, plus she plays volleyball in the fall, soccer in the winter and swims in the spring.

“I like keeping in shape,” she says. “Plus, I’m really competitive.”

Littlefield started playing soccer when she was 6, but says she didn’t truly enjoy the sport until eighth grade.

“The league I was in before wasn’t a club so it wasn’t that competitive,” she says. “It was just fun; it got me ready for more.”

Since then, soccer has been her main sport and the reason she plays all the others. She plays every position including goalie.

“Everything else is to keep me in shape for the soccer season,” she says. Littlefield says that she has a total of 20 awards for soccer and softball, which she used to play before she started swimming, 15 of which are first and second places.

Last year she started swimming. She qualified for the regional competitions in the 100 backstroke and the 100 freestyle. She enjoys swimming because she says it is an out of the ordinary sport and she likes to be different.

This is her first season of volleyball.

Littlefield’s family has been supportive of her athletics. She says her mom provides the most support.

“She keeps me training during the offseason,” she says.

Littlefield says that no matter what the situation, her mom will find her a ride to practices and games or will come up with the money she needs for things such as uniforms.

In addition to sports, Littlefield has been playing the bass in her school’s orchestra since she was in sixth grade. She is also a staff reporter on her school’s newspaper.

Littlefield says the hardest thing about being a three-season athlete is that she has to keep her grades up to compete.

“Sports have helped me stay eligible for the whole year,” she says. “I never get a break.”

Sports have helped Littlefield in other areas as well. She says she has made a lot of friends over the years. She believes that sports have and will open up opportunities for college and in the future.

Littlefield’s favorite part about playing sports is that it gives her a place to forget the stresses of high school.

“It takes away a lot of the stress that I have during the year, I can go out there and not think about any of it,” Littlefield says.

Although she is only a sophomore, Littlefield already is looking toward college. She plans to apply to the University of North Carolina, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles, all top schools for soccer.

She does not plan to play soccer beyond college and wants to study dentistry with the goal of becoming a dental surgeon.

“I want to have a private practice,” she says. “I love teeth. It would make a lot of money and it is something I think I would enjoy.”

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