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Fort Gibson

Fort Gibson’s Matie McCroskey – Economy pharmacy athlete of the month

The smile on her face told the story as Matie McCroskey celebrated with her teammates as state champions…not once but twice following the Lady Tigers soccer team claiming the Class 4A title with a 2-1 shootout win over Metro Christian Academy in addition to winning the Academic State Championship with a 3.905 team grade point average.

The ever-jubilant Fort Gibson junior took great pride in celebrating the double gold medal awards.

“To me, academics are very important because it not only shows how good of a team we are, it shows how intelligent we are too,” explained McCroskey who owns a 4.09 GPA. “Academics carry over into soccer because on a daily basis, each person runs into a problem and with that come the skills of problem solving and handling situations with reason.” 

Known to her friends as “Crauntie”, the outside defender brings the advantage of competitive soccer to the pitch having played the sport since she was three years old on the same team as her current teammate Lainey Stach while wearing the colors of “Finesse”. McCroskey’s skills are also a result of a friendly rivalry with her older sister, Katie, who also played soccer for the Lady Tigers.

“I think back to when we were little, mainly all I remember is Katie and I playing trampoline soccer from noon until sundown. I honestly give her a lot of the credit for where I am today because I remember being in middle school and looking up to her and trying to strive to be just as amazing as she is.”

But who is the better player on the pitch?

“She plays forward and I play defense, meaning, we have no idea how to play each other’s position,” chuckled the younger sibling. “All we know is that we’re both good at the positions we’ve played. Now, I will have the state champion ring to show her whenever she wears her All-State ring around the house.” 

Driven, loyal and joyous are words used to define the impact of McCroskey to the Lady Tigers program.

“Matie has a good understanding of the game. She displays a very physical and aggressive style and brings speed from the back,” explained coach Billy Whitehead. “Add to that, Matie brings a lot of fun to our team with her personality. Off the field she excels in the classroom and she is always laughing.”

It’s something that McCroskey defines as making character count.

“I try my best to exhibit great character through helping my teammates in any way I can. I try and be there for anyone who needs to talk. It’s the small things like giving people high fives, hugging, or even telling them good job that means the most,” McCroskey explained in a voice filled with a smile. “Having good character can help you go very far in life because it shows people if they can trust you or not.”

It was an ever apparent trust that McCroskey and teammates held strong in the double overtime shootout victory for the Class 4A soccer championship.

“The bonds we had with each individual member of our team created a drive to where we don’t go out on the field to play for ourselves, but to play for our team as a whole,” proclaimed McCroskey. “Billy told us before our game, “go out there and give everything we have and if we do that I can confidently say we will win. Leave everything on the field.”

And with two championship trophies to hold high as proof, Matie McCroskey and the Lady Tigers took the coach’s words of inspiration to heart.

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