Enjoy every moment, Spartan Spotlight with Katelyn Berry

Katelyn Berry has some good advice for future SJO students.

"Enjoy every moment, do not take anything for granted, and to live every moment to the fullest," said the senior, who thinks SJO is simply a great place to be.

"The coronavirus pandemic has made me realize that I shouldn’t ever take anything for granted. I realized that you don’t really know what you have until it’s gone, " she explained. "This will definitely make me feel more grateful for everything I have."

Berry, a four-year veteran in the St. Joseph-Ogden volleyball program, was involved in a number of organizations in high school. She was a member of NHS, the Advisory Mentoring Program, the Future Spartans Mentoring Program, Spanish Club and the Maroon Platoon. She was also on Student Council and played basketball for one season.

"Going to SJO was special for me because I made incredible friendships and memories through volleyball," she said. "I had some of the best teachers throughout my years at SJO, and I had some of the most memorable experiences in all of the activities I was involved in at SJO."

Her favorite classes over the years were Advanced Spanish III with Sr. Zak Sutton and Civics and Economics with Mr. Marshall Schacht, who she notes is one of her favorite high school teachers. She added that Mrs. Stone and Mr. Risley were her two favorite teachers at St. Joseph Middle School.

In addition to speaking Spanish, the St. Joseph native said she would also like to learn French, German and Italian some day.

This fall, Berry will join the student body at the University of Missouri to major in health sciences. Her career goal will be focused on o becoming a licensed physical therapist, something she decided on almost two years ago after suffering a sports injury.

"I realized I wanted to be a physical therapist when I tore my ACL sophomore year during club volleyball season," she said. "I had to spend seven months going to physical therapy and being in that atmosphere made me realize that I could see myself doing that as a career one day.

"A lot of people don’t enjoy going to physical therapy, but I noticed that I actually liked being there," she added.

Berry was a key figure in the Spartan volleyball team's 37-5 record and third-place state finish back in November. She finished her final season with SJO with over 250 kills, 169 digs and 18 service aces in 2019.

She loves the atmosphere of big games, the one's where there is so much energy in the air you can reach out an touch it.

"Even though we were hours away from home, our fans showed up and made the place have so much energy that really helped us through that game," Berry said, describing the 'incredible atmosphere' during SJO's thrilling supersectional match against Chicago Christian. Another game she will remember is the Spartans' road match at St. Thomas More game her junior year. "We beat them in three sets. Once again, our student section showed up and they really made it even more enjoyable to play."

Poised with a high level of mental toughness, Berry is the player you on the floor with you in a match when your team is the underdog facing overwhelming odds. In crucial moments during a game, she might bend but can't be broken. The higher the stakes, the tougher, more focused she becomes. Giving up nor giving in, neither don't appear to be an option her book.

"I always try telling myself to stay calm. It’s a lot easier to play when you’re up on the scoreboard," she said. "So whenever we were down I would just remind myself to think about what you’re playing for. We were playing for a trophy all season long and I was constantly reminding myself of that."

On Friday nights during football season Berry was on the sidelines responsible for keeping offensive stats. Following in the footsteps of her older sister who was a statistician when she was in high school, she became a stat girl after Lindsey Aden, a really good friend was a stat girl her sophomore year, recruited her the fall of their junior year.

"To be a stat girl, you have to really focus on the game the entire time," she said. "A lot is happening really quickly and you have to get it all down."

In her free time, she likes to hang out with her family, which consist of her parents and two siblings - an older sister and an older brother - as well as friends.

When she's chilling with family and friends she likes to go to Marble Slab for ice cream, play monopoly, and watch movies.