By Jay Hoberecht
Katelyn Penner, a senior at Okeene High School, is the winner of the Stevens Ford VYPE pre-season basketball poll in northwest Oklahoma. Her father, Patrick Penner, is her basketball coach and calls Katelyn a “gym rat” because of the thousands of shots he has rebounded in the gym. She has a key to the gym and can get up some shots anytime. We all know that’s what it takes to be a player, a really good player.
Katelyn got involved with basketball in the third grade playing in a Y league. Then, she progressed to summer ball and a travel team. Last year she played with Team Oklahoma. She wants to play at the next level and has had some interest from both colleges and junior colleges.
Katelyn’s coach is her Dad and he talked about how much improvement Katelyn has made the past several years. She has worked hard to learn to play post and play facing the basket. She is shooting forty percent from the three-line and has gained so much confidence. Coach Dad talked about Katelyn working so hard over the past summer to make herself more athletic. Coach Penner evaluated her being “at a different level this year.”
Katelyn is also involved with cross country, track and softball. She finished third at State in cross country this year. Last year, she finished fourth in the shot and fifth in the mile. She plays first and third in softball. In addition to her sports, she is Student Council Co-President with Jentry Biggs, Secretary FCA and President of the National Honor Society. Plus, she is involved in FCCLA, in her United Methodist youth group and in TAG (a talented and gifted group at school).
Katelyn wants to become a math teacher and coach basketball. To that end, she is a teacher’s aid for her math teacher this year and has had an opportunity to make lesson plans and teach several class periods. All great experience for her future!
Katelyn has an important basketball season ahead of her as she prepares for the things to come after high school. One of those important things is playing this season with her freshman sister, Julia. That is a big deal to her. I think Katelyn will have a solid senior year on the court, play in college and become and a math teacher and coach. Just like she has planned! That’s because she understands what it takes to be successful!