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Sparkman High senior Obed Bartee, right, is currently ranked No. 5 in the United States in the latest USA Boxing Youth Men’s 165-pound division and has his boxing sights set on advancing to the Olympics or professional bouts in the future. Photo Contributed

Sparkman High’s Obed Bartee Takes Aim On Possible Boxing Career- Currently Ranked No. 5 In The United States

HARVEST- To have the passion for and desire to succeed at your favorite sport are some of the tangibles for any athlete to become a winner at their craft. Obed Bartee has those attributes and more as he has become one of the top boxers in the United States utilizing his hunger to be the best.

“I feel I’m smart about how I approach each bout and every opponent taking my time to make adjustments to give myself an opportunity to win,” said Bartee.

The 17-year old senior at Sparkman High has taken those attributes to success beyond his wildest dreams as he’s currently ranked No. 5 in the country as part of the USA Boxing Youth Men’s 165-pound division. In his most recent competition, Bartee was runner-up in the USA Open Championships youth-male 165-pound division losing in a close decision to an opponent from Lake Charles, La.

The 6-foot muscular athlete will turn 18 in February, graduate in May and enter college with the U.S. Army where he expects to become a member of the Army Boxing Team. He also has his sights set on possibly boxing for his country as a member of the U.S. Olympic Team, unless something else comes along. He said, “I’d like to go the Olympics, but if other things that better my career like turning professional, I’ll go that route.”

Bartee twice tried his luck at boxing with his first venture into the sport coming when he was in the sixth grade. His father reached out and found the Rocket City Boxing Club and suggested the sport while his son was involved with football. Bartee tried the new sport, but just didn’t take to the individualized athletic event.

“In the eighth grade, I tried again and this time I liked it so I dropped my football pads for the boxing gloves,” said Bartee, son of Obed and Syria Bartee, along with two siblings, grew up in the local area since moving from Baltimore when Bartee was age four. “Since I tried the second time I began to train and decided I wanted to fight back and since then I‘ve had a steady incline in the sport and I enjoy it. After starting to compete I grew a strong love for boxing- the competition.”

Boxing can be a brutal sport. Just the fact you are up against an opponent who has the same burning desire to win can cause for an undertaking that digs deep into your soul. Plus, the physical conditioning is unmatched in sports.

Three days a week after school, Bartee exits the school campus located on Jeff Road in Harvest and makes the jaunt home where he will put himself through a 90-minute workout at the home gym his father has made in the garage of their home. He hits the heavy bag and speed bag along with additional workout techniques. Two nights after school he works out at Body Creations under the watchful eyes of Andy McCloy. It’s there he goes through a body transformation of strength and conditioning. He and his father go on morning runs twice-a-week.

He’ll take to Body Creations for a morning workout each Saturday and looks to spar with any boxer who’s winning to step into the ring. He’ll occasional spar at Rocket City or travel to spots around Nashville to find a suitable locale and opponent to slug it out in sparring sessions.

“I feel I am a hard puncher with my best punch coming from my left jab,” said Bartee. “I’m athletic, well-conditioned, fast and strong.”

Since stepping into the ring for competitions wearing 12-ounces boxing gloves, Bartee is 55-15 overall and has been ranked as high as No. 1 in the 145-pound division and No. 4 in the 154-pound competition level. He has taken gold in the Junior Olympics and the Eastern Qualifier in Columbus, Ohio. Each bout is made up of three, three-minute rounds of action.

Like most seasoned boxers, Bartee doesn’t flaunt his talents around the halls and classrooms of Sparkman High. He has a few friends, but this is his first school season at Sparkman transferring to the Madison County School from Huntsville High as his family moved to the area of Harvest.

“I’m focused into keeping up my grades and boxing,” said Bartee. “At each bout I take a knee and say a quick prayer. Everyone around me are very supportive. I have the desire to win, serve my country and one day possibly hold up a gold medal in the Olympics or wear a championship belt in professional boxing.”

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