Written by Wendy Smith
Photo Courtesy of Kassey Weaver Photography
Stigler High School senior Katie Matthews is a true testament that character counts. Whether she is cheering on the sidelines or in the classroom, Katie’s magnetic personality shines through and lights the path for others to follow.
“Katie is a great girl in every aspect and is a phenomenal cheerleader who constantly works to perfect her skills. She is intuitive about what would be best for the team and knows how to make it happen,” said SHS head varsity coach Angie Citty. “Katie is also a great role model. She is thoughtful and reflective about making good personal choices and being someone with a moral compass. She has a great work ethic and will make some college coaches so happy!”
Katie has been a member of the SHS varsity cheerleading squad throughout her high school career. This year she received the honor of being named the 2021-2022 cheer captain. In addition to cheering on the Panthers, the senior leader has participated in competitive cheer for ten years.
“I have been from Hawaii to New York for cheer competitions,” Katie said. “I’d say my favorite place to compete is at ESPN for Summit in Florida as you get to enjoy Disney World.”
Katie’s work ethic has opened up multiple doors and given her a chance to see the world. However, the young athlete has had to endure long and grueling practices, but the end result was well worth it! On Nov. 9, she was named a 2022 Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State East Cheerleading Team member.
“I was so ecstatic,” she said. “I was honestly trying not to get my hopes up. So when I found out, I was so happy. It’s been a goal of mine since I was a freshman, and I was so excited that it came true.”
A Lady Panther at heart, Katie believes that character is one of the most essential traits a person should have, and as stated by her coach, her moral compass has never steered her wrong.
“A person’s morals, traits, how they treat those around them, work ethic, drive, it all comes down to their character,” said Katie. ” I also feel it is essential to check your morals and character to keep yourself on track.”
When asked about the person she looks up to the most, Katie did not hesitate to mention her parents.
“On my goodness, I don’t know where to start. My parents are probably my biggest influences,” said Katie.
After high school, Katie plans to pursue a degree in psychology, attend medical school, and become a psychiatrist.