The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

June 18, 2013

Goal: Be a Pioneer... literally

Jefferson graduate Ariann Barile doesn’t have plans to rule the world — yet. She has, however, put herself on a path to accomplish that goal if she so decides, by choosing to attend Marietta College and play softball for the Pioneers in the fall.

Barile, the daughter of Kim Carnes and Carl Barile, will major in political science with a minor in international law with the idea she’d like to run the country one day.

“I want to be president,” she said.

There will be some smaller steps before Barile sets out to conquer the world.

“I’m going to law school after college,” she said. “I’m going to minor in Asian studies. A lot of business runs through Asia and a lot of international law starts in Asia and China. I want to get into international law.

“I will start working on some campaigns. I will start there.”

Prior to her senior softball season with the Falcons, Barile was ready to walk away from the sport she loved, having accepted that she wouldn’t play in college.

Then, Barile changed her mind, and helped lead her team to an All-American Conference championship. She tied what had been Jefferson’s school record for homers in a season (4, set by Rachel Francis in 2010), second in Ashtabula County to freshman teammate Kaycee Fusco, who reset the record with five roundtrippers this season, first in the county, and his .400, with 20 runs scored, 30 hits, two doubles, two triples and 17 RBI. Barile stole 11 bases and had an on-base percentage of .430 and s sluggins percentage of .640.

In 221 chances behind the plate, Barile commited but four errors for a fielding percentage of .982.

Once she made up her mind to become a Pioneer, it didn’t take long to get in touch with the softball coach.

“Having the coaches I have helped influence me (to play for Marietta),” she said. “Having people who put faith in me helped. Before I could believe in my self again, I needed other people to believe in me.

“That sparked me to want to play again and to want to continue playing (after high school).”

Originally, Barile was looking at following in her father’s footsteps and heading to the University of Virginia. Other schools, including Ohio University, Washington and Jefferson, Eureka College (Ill.) and California University of Pa., however, gained favor. Then she was accepted into a program at Marietta she just couldn’t pass up.

“It was actually cheaper to go to OU, but Marietta has a leadership program,” Barile said. “It’s a special program and I was accepted into it. I made the honors program at OU, but this program pushed Marietta ahead of OU.”

The program Barile was accepted into at Marietta is called the McDonough Leadership Program and will serve to help her learn the traits she will need to have as a politician.

“The program teaches you leadership qualities and helps you look into different types of leadership and different ways to pursue goals,” Barile said. “It will also give me the opportunity to travel through the school and study abroad.”

Not many teenagers want to pursue a career in politics. Barile is certainly different.

“I was in Model UN and got to see international politics and what is wrong with the world,” Barile said. “That sparked my interest. In high school, so many people told me no and to be pushed aside so much, also sparked my interest. To overcome my own personal Mount Everest helped.

“Dr. (John) Patterson (currently serving a term as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives) was my Model UN advisor and we would talk one-on-one about politics. I also worked on President Obama’s and Dr. Patterson’s campaigns.”

Barile would like to model herself after a few high-profile American politicians.

“I want to follow in the footsteps of Robert Kennedy and work my way up the ladder like I’ve always done,” she said. “His brother was president and he was overshadowed and overlooked because of JFK. Robert Kennedy was phenomenal at speaking. He was a go-to guy. He helped his brother’s campaign and after the whole assasination, he did his own.”

There’s also a former president Barile feels slightly connected with.

“Teddy Roosevelt,” Barile said. “So many people told him growing up he couldn’t go far or do this or do that. He overcame it. He made his family proud. He was the first in his family to make it that far. He always lived to make his family proud. He had asthma and was told he couldn’t play sports. He ended up playing football in college.

“I can relate to people telling him he wasn’t good enough. I overcame things in my own way and he was who he wanted to be.”

For those who know Barile, they know that careers in law and politics are perfectly suited to her.

“I never like to be wrong,” she said with a laugh. “When I’m wrong, I will prove you wrong just to make myself sound right. I’m famous for that.”

Barile was a volleyball, basketball and softball player for the Falcons. Softball, however, was truly the sport she loved.

“It came down to basketball and softball,” she said. “I’ve been playing softball since second grade and before that I played T-ball when I was 4. I’ve always loved the game. And I’m too short to play the post in college in basketball.”

Barile will be a second-generation college athlete and followed some wise advice from her dad.

“My dad played football at Virginia,” she said. “He didn’t want me to play at a bigger school or a Division I school. He was against because of his experience. He didn’t like it, so he didn’t think I would. When we talked about Marietta, he could tell my heart was into softball. He saw it when I played and we talked about it.

“I could wake up and play until I went back to sleep and never get tired of it. I wasn’t ready to let it go.”

A catcher for both the Falcons and the Ohio Jaguars, Barile knows where she wants to be on the field. She also understands that what she wants and what is best for the team are two different things. She has worked at being able to play just about anywhere. During one tournament a year ago, Barile played seven different positions.

“My dad was a catcher,” she said. “My uncle was a catcher. And I’m pretty sure my grandpa was a catcher for a while. Catching runs in the family. I want to be involved in every aspect, every pitch. I love to be in control, to have to have the leadership it takes to fill that role. Being involved in every play is what I love about being a catcher.

“I’d like to continue catching, but they have a catcher who was a junior last year. I’m pretty sure she will be the catcher as a senior. I’ll play wherever. Outfield, infield, it doesn’t really matter. I just want to play.”          

Barile didn’t always have the best experiences during her sports career, but she encountered some good people who gave her some hope along the way.

“There were ups and downs in all of my sports,” she said. “There have been coaches who believed in me and said I could do it. I knew they had my back. That was a big deal to me. Before I could have confidence in myself, I had to know they had confidence in me.

“Until I was ready to blossom and fulfill my potential, they never gave up on me and they helped me get to where I am now.”

Those people who helped Barile mature as a player and person were legendary Jefferson girls basketball coach Rod Holmes, assistant coaches Jon Hall, Jason Root and Don McCormack, who also served as Barile’s softball coach this spring, and former junior varsity softball coach Rachel (Unsinger) Blevins.

Barile’s parents also helped in that regard.

“My dad has had such an influence on how I play because he played in high school,” Barile said. “My mom is my No. 1 cheerleader and my biggest critic. She knows what’s best for me and loves me. Without them, I could definitely not have pushed through.

“My entire family has been there for me. My goal is to make them proud. I hope to make all of the people who have been a part of my life proud of what they’ve helped me become.”       

Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

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