Pre-Signing Profile: McKenzie Barbara Ready to Be a Rebel

Don Barbara, who is the head baseball coach at St. John Bosco (Bellflower, California) High and daughter McKenzie who plays softball at St. Joseph (Lakewood, California) High. Both teams made it team deep into the CIF-Southern Section playoffs this year. Photo from Long Beach Press-Telegram.

McKenzie is a catcher/first baseman who earned All-Los Angeles honors after hitting .554 with 11 homers and 42 RBI for the Jesters of St. Joseph High.

Below is a closer look at this SEC-bound bound power-hitter who had one of the biggest home runs in the PGF 18U Premier Nationals when she hit a walk-off three-run home run to lead her Explosion team to a come-from-behind win.

Check out the video found on our Extra Inning Softball Facebook page of this mammoth shot hit by McKenzie:

Club Team: Texas Blaze United (Austin, TX)
High School (City/ST): Saint Joseph (Lakewood, California)
Position(s): C/1B
College: Ole Miss

Where will you be signing your Letter of Intent next week? 
St. John Bosco High (the brother school to my high school).

Will it be a big occasion or more low-key? 
Big occasion!

Will you do anything to celebrate the big day?
Breakfast after signing with my mom and dad, along with all of my dad’s signed baseball players from St. John Bosco.

What date (if you remember) did you actually commit and how long ago was it? 
I committed to Ole Miss on Dec 12th, 2015.

What highlight stands out to you about the recruiting process?
Being able to go visit the different colleges, building relationships with the coaches and seeing what the programs had to offer.

What was the “aha” moment when you knew the program was the right one for you? 
I knew once I stepped foot on the Ole Miss Campus it was the place for me.  What helped to solidify my decision was a conversation I had with then Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze.  He said, " We all have the fluff (stadiums, gear, etc.) but what you need to ask yourself is, “Do I fit in, does it feel like family and if my career ended today would I be able to finish my college education here?”

What will signing with your dream school mean to you personally and to those who’ve been part of your success (family, coaches, teammates, etc.)?
It’s exciting to see all the hours of hard work, family sacrifices and travel finally payoff.  I have reached a major goal in spite of all the coaches who said I was not good enough throughout my career!  This is only the beginning!

How much gear/product do you have of your future school? 
A lot, four years’ worth!  It’s been a long time coming!

What’s next for you and your softball plans this year?
I will continue to be in the weight room, working on my conditioning, and playing my last year of HS Softball.  This summer I will be playing with a new team Texas Blaze United out of Austin, Texas.  This gives me a chance to play with two other 2019 Ole Miss commits, Kenzie Kuhlman and Taylor Bachmeyer, and a 2020 Ole Miss commit, Skylar Brooks.  I will be spending much of my summer traveling to Texas, Colorado, Chicago and then home (Long Beach) for PGF Nationals.

Did you ever think this day—signing with your dream school—would come? 
No! Four years is a long time to wait!