Student athlete of the year

Olympic senior Katelyn Shaw excelled in sports as a Trojan, but also made an impact outside of the athletic arena. Shaw will attend Northwest Nazarene University this fall. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Olympic senior Katelyn Shaw excelled in sports as a Trojan, but also made an impact outside of the athletic arena. Shaw will attend Northwest Nazarene University this fall.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

In many ways, recent Olympic High School grad Katelyn Shaw is following in the footsteps of her family.

Both of her parents, her brother Jeff and several other family members attended Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, where she is bound.

Jeff was also a standout athlete at Olympic, taking the Central Kitsap Reporter’s Student-Athlete of the Year honors in 2004.

And while the road she’s traveled has led her to a similar destination, it was one that is unique as Katelyn herself.

Shaw, selected as one of the 2007 CK Reporter Student-Athletes of the Year, will be remembered at Oly for her contributions in multiple sports as well as her outstanding academics. But more importantly, the impression she made came from who she was, not what she accomplished.

“Beyond all that, she’s one of the best people I’ve ever coached,” Trojan volleyball coach Keith Peden said. “She’s just a tremendous person. I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more.”

Shaw, a standout on the Trojans volleyball team that advanced to state for the first time in school history this fall, leaves the school as Olympic’s record holder in single-game assists, single-season assists and career assists. Shaw was also a member of the school’s softball program and early in her career, the basketball program as well.

Academically, she compiled a 3.9 gpa to finish as one of the top 10 students at Oly. She’s a talented musician and stays active in her church and community.

All of that added up to the well-rounded, fun-loving individual Shaw became in her time at Oly.

“Pretty much, I like to have fun,” Shaw said.

Ultimately, Shaw said it’s just nice to see her hard work pay off in so many ways.

“It feels good. We work hard,” she said of student-athletes in general. “You try to do the best at everything you do. To have someone notice that makes you feel really good.”

Volleyball was Shaw’s strongest suit athletically, something that was visibly to her parents J. Scott and Vicki early on.

“It’s kind of a funny story,” Shaw said. “In seventh grade I wasn’t too sure about trying out. I had never played before. I didn’t think I’d be any good.”

But her parents urged her to give it a shot.

“I tried out and loved it,” she said. “I was like, ‘I really like that. I really want to keep doing that.’ It became one of my passions.”

In fact, as a setter for Fairview Junior High School, Vicki remembers watching Katelyn use the chimney as a practice partner, picking a spot or brick and setting to it.

“She did it for hours,” Vicki said. “Every day, all summer.”

“It actually hit it back to me,” Katelyn said.

But never did she dream of the success Oly would have by the time she would join the Trojans.

“That was amazing,” she said. “We really got closer. A lot of us played at Fairview together.

Then to go all the way. Our last year was our big year. It didn’t seem real, but it was fun.”

More than anything else, Shaw said she’ll remember getting to state in Kennewick this season.

“Some of my greatest memories were when we were at state,” she said. “We got there the first night and looked out. Oh my gosh. Four courts. All those people watching us. That was scary.”

Peden said Shaw was not the “typical setter.”

“Setters are usually very in control, very outgoing,” Peden said. “They’ll be the one’s saying, ‘You do this. You do this.’ Katelyn was a very quiet leader, but there was always confidence there.”

And that confidence is what allowed her to excel, Peden said.

“In volleyball, it’s different than a lot other sports,” he said. “The setter is definitely involved in every single play. Unless it’s a broken play, not a play goes by where the setter is not the main component of the play. For us to go undefeated, for us to upset some very, very good programs, Katelyn was literally right in the middle of all that.”

Her school records are just another testament to her work ethic, Peden said.

“Anytime you look back at a school and say, ‘I did more than anyone else,’ that’s a huge testament to her hard work,” Peden said. “Every setter works hard. Every setter does their best.”

And while volleyball was her most successful sport, Shaw also developed a passion for softball. She began playing T-ball at 6 years old, but it wasn’t until eighth grade that it carved out a niche in her.

“Each year it got more (important to me),” Shaw said. “I thought, ‘If I gave this up, I’d be really sad.’”

And while the squad didn’t do as well as they hoped in her senior year, the team made huge strides from the 1-16 team Shaw’s sophomore year.

“It was exciting,” she said. “There were times when all of us were just like, ‘Oh. I guess we’re an OK club. I guess we can do this. If we work hard, we can play with the big kids.’”

Her experiences with the teams echoed several athletic programs at Olympic in the last two seasons. Shaw said it was an exciting time to be a student at Olympic.

“That was really exciting,” she said. “We were so down. To come back like that, all of our programs were basically better. We were winning way more. It was kind of like the school was in shock. We didn’t really know what to do. It was really exciting.”

The most visible changes were just in the hallways and cafeteria.

“When somebody talked about Oly sports, like in 10th, 11th grade, people would say, ‘They’re no good. They’re not gonna win,’” Shaw said. “As we started winning this year, people started saying, ‘We can win. We have talent. We can do it.’”

In school she was active in the Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. What makes her gpa even more impressive is that Shaw took four Advanced Placement classes (English, psychology, art history and calculus).

“There were several things that were challenging,” she said. “Taking four AP classes this year, that was interesting, and challenging. I think they were really rewarding though because I learned a lot. It wasn’t easy.”

But school was just one part of Shaw’s dynamic personality.

As a gifted musician, Shaw began playing the piano in second grade, followed by the flute in fifth grade.

Shaw picked up the oboe in seventh grade, true to her personality.

“That was fun to do,” she said. “It’s not something everyone does. It’s unique. I got to be an individual with it.”

In her church, Shaw is an active member of the Bremerton Nazarene worship band and was a leader in her youth group.

“I have had so many great opportunities through my church,” she said. “I’ve met a lot of great people that have helped me to become a better person. It feels like a big family to me. That’s been a really important aspect of my life.”

And an important factor in choosing Northwest Nazarene to continue her education. As was family, as Shaw remembered having a NNU outfit as a young girl.

“Definitely. That was a big aspect of my excitement about attending,” Shaw said. “Actually, that was the only school I applied to. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to go there.”

As for life in the collegiate classroom, Shaw said Olympic prepared her more than adequately for the challenges yet to come.

“Oh yeah, I had very good teachers and people who really cared about me,” she said. “They were confident in what I could do. They encouraged me to be able to succeed with their help.”

The transition will also be made easier as she’ll be rooming with friend Sarah Varady, a softball teammate of Shaw’s.

“We’re looking forward to having a lot of fun,” Shaw said.

And while she doesn’t yet know what her major will be (“I’m hoping I’ll be able to figure it out down there.”) and doesn’t plan to continue her athletic career collegiately, she’ll still be active, as long as it’s fun.

“I’m definitely going to do intramurals,” she said. “That’s for sure.

“Anything involving fun, I’m there.”

Other Student Athlete of the Year:


Jace Caulkins, another recent Oly grad, was also selected as one of the CK Reporter Student-Athletes of the Year.

Caulkins, attending Air Force Academy, is currently unavailable due to his obligations to the Academy.

However, we will be catching up with Jace the first chance we get, so keep posted on the completion of the Student-Athletes of the Year series.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 28
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates