Game Changer

Katie Thompson  |  Senior
Boys Town Female Athlete of the Year

Being athletic comes naturally to senior Katie Thompson, Boys Town’s 2020 Female Athlete of the Year. She competed on the volleyball, basketball, and track teams at Boys Town, but she’s torn when asked which sport is her favorite. “Volleyball is just like an adrenaline rush that I get,” Thompson said. “I’ve played it since I was a little kid. However, track is my time to shine and to show everybody what I can do.”

Boys Town head volleyball coach Paula Grinvalds believes Thompson is the epitome of leading by example. “She gave 100% at practice and games and celebrated other players’ efforts and accomplishments no matter how small. She excels at whatever she sets her mind to.” Boys Town head track coach Jesse Benda added, “Katie pushed herself in the weight room and classroom and was a known leader on the Boys Town campus. She was a three-sport athlete all four years and broke records in track, volleyball and basketball as well as in the weight room.”

Unfortunately, track was canceled this spring due to COVID-19. “Track season was really heartbreaking for me because I went to state twice before,” Thompson said. Another disappointment came with the decision to livestream graduation and not allow anyone to attend in person. “You only graduate high school once.”

Thompson is looking forward to attending Peru State College on a volleyball scholarship this fall. She plans to become a history teacher with a coaching endorsement. “I just love history, and sports is always going to be a part of my life, so why not combine those two things together?”

Thompson appreciates all the support she’s received from her Boys Town family. “I love the people that I live with. Not only are they sports-oriented, but they are always so into your life and what you’re doing, so it actually feels like they care.” The other girls in her Boys Town home are athletic like Thompson. “Our house is the most competitive. We get ready, we get dressed in all black, we put on face paint, and it’s on.”

Thompson is driven to succeed in part because of her background. “My brother went to Boys Town, but he left before graduation. I take his situation and how he’s struggling now, and I don’t want to be like that. I want a good life, not just for me, but for my family. I want to be an influence for others around me, and I want that to continue. I want to be a little change in the world.”

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