Sports are family affair for Gibby, Watson
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Oct. 25, 2005 - When Tara Gibby and Hailey Watson take the court or the Lady Cats, it's a family affair.

Gibby and Watson, both SSHS seniors, each come from families where wearing the blue and gold is a tradition. 

Gibby's mother, Sandra, was a Lady Cat athlete in the '80s, and Tara's older sister, Savannah, was a multi-sport athlete who graduated in 2004.

Watson's mother, Mary, is a coach at the middle school, and Hailey's sister, Hollie, was also a 2004 multi-sport athlete.

"We love to play," Gibby said of her family. "It's very family-oriented. We love to go watch each other play, and sometimes it's a weekend trip where we go and watch each other. We really like to do it, and it's very fun for our family to go do and support each other."

There should be plenty of support when the Lady Cats take on Wylie at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Royse City in the bi-district round of the playoffs.

Gibby is a three-year volleyball letterman and leads the team in kills this season. Last year, she was a First Team All-District selection as an outside hitter. She was also a First Team All-District shortstop in softball.

Along with her athletic activities, she is in Leadership Class, Student Council, Key Club, National Honor Society, and she is part of the Wildcat TV staff.

It's on Wildcat TV that the engaging senior can be creative.

"I get to report and I'm a cameraperson, too, and we have a back-up editing machine that I like to go and play around on," Gibby said. "I like everything about it, so week-to-week, I can do different things. I like to go out and talk to people, but I also like the technology part of it."

She likes it so much, in fact, that broadcast journalism is a career she is giving some thought to.

Gibby would like to play softball or volleyball in college. That would be a natural extension of what she has done in high school.

"I like the teamwork and being with other people and being able to feed off of each other and play as a team," she explained. "This is how well you work with others and play together. Each individual person coming together and playing as a team is probably my favorite thing about it."

For her classmate Watson, it is the camaraderie that makes sports so enthralling.

"I love volleyball because it's fast-paced and you really have to trust your teammates 100 percent, because everything you do is intertwined with what they do," she said. "Everybody supports each other, and that's my favorite part of it - the closeness you have with your teammates.

"I just grew up around athletics, and I always loved being competitive - my whole family's competitive. It's just something I've grown up with."

A Second Team All-District selection in volleyball as a junior, Watson was also selected the district Pitcher of the Year in softball last season. She is involved in First Baptist Church youth choir and Youth on Missions, FCA, Student Council, NHS, Key Club and she is a Texas Scholar. She has also completed four years of Spanish, is taking her first class in French and counts another language - English - as her favorite subject.

"It's interesting and you learn so much about the culture as well as the language," she said of her interest in foreign tongues.

But, it is her communication with her teammates that she counts as the most valuable.

"Bus rides with my teammates are my favorite part of the season," she said. "We all goof off, and we like to kid around with each other, so it's a lot of fun."

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