BUCKHANNON — It is important to highlight the youth in Upshur County and the hard work they have put in to excelling in the sports they play. This series of articles will go in-depth with one of B-U’s student athletes, allowing readers to get to know a little more about who athletically represents the community. This week, Lady Buccaneer’s Track Team senior Catherine Oliveto, took time to give the community an inside look at her journey in Upshur County sports.
Question 1: Describe your major highlights and achievements in sports over the past four years. Does anything really standout to you about your high school athletic career?
“I was the leading scorer for the Lady Soccer Bucs three out of four years. I was named first team Big 10 and All Region. I was awarded the MVP award this past season, which was voted upon by my teammates. I’m a regional champion in track with multiple high point honors and medaled in 2 relays at the state track meet,” said Oliveto
“I have made life long friendships with a lot of my teammates and made memories that will last a lifetime,” she added.
Question 2: What clubs, teams or other extracurricular activities have you been involved in during high school?
“I am involved in National Honors Society, Youth Leadership Association. I am a Student Council representative. I am involved in community service projects and Fellowship of Christian Athletes Soccer Club,” explained Oliveto.
Question 3: Why are you so passionate about playing sports? What drives you to compete?
“Both of my parents were athletes and I was blessed with a talent. My competitive edge, my desire to win and be the best is what drives me to compete,” stated Oliveto.
Question 4: As a multi-sport athlete, what would you say is your favorite sport? What made it your favorite? What drew you to that sport in particular?
“My favorite sport is 100% soccer. When my foot touches the ball, something just clicks. I started playing soccer when I was 5 years old, because it is one of the first sports you can begin playing at that age and I never stopped,” said Oliveto.
Question 5: How would your coaches and teammates describe you?
“One of my coaches described me as having a rare talent with a fierce competitive edge, speed and style of play that is a rarity in high school sports and that’s why I was recruited by multiple colleges to continue my soccer career” explained Oliveto.
“My teammates would describe me as a leader with high expectations, being loyal and having their backs. I can be intense, but I would do anything for my teammates,” she added.
Question 6: What would you say is the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from a coach over your years of playing sports?
“I have had some hard lessons over the years and was told that not everything will always go your way, not everyone will support you, some will root against you, you have a target on your back, but always keep your head in the game,” stated Oliveto.
Question 7: How do you manage your athletic responsibilities and other outside recreational and non-recreational activities?
“My education always comes first, sports won’t last a lifetime, followed by practice, games, track meets and the gym. I always make time for my family and friends because balance is key,” said Oliveto.
Question 8: What’s the biggest life lesson you have picked up from playing sports? How did that lesson help you mature?
“I have learned that not always will you be treated fairly, not always will you be supported, but you can never give up on yourself or dreams because of those reasons or individuals,” shared Oliveto.
Question 9: How long have you run track? What sets track apart from other sports you play? How would you describe yourself as a soccer player? How would you describe yourself as a track athlete? What are some of your strengths in both?
“I started running track in the sixth grade. I currently hold two middle school records in the 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash. Track is a team sport that also allows you to succeed individually, which is a nice balance because on the soccer field it takes the whole team to win a game as with track, but you can also succeed and be recognized individually. I would describe myself the same on the soccer field as I would on the track, a fierce competitor who wants to win and push myself to be the best that I can be for myself and the team,” explained Oliveto.
Question 10: How has being involved in sports positively impacted your life?
“Being an athlete has given me confidence and at the same time hurt my confidence, but those are the challenges that have made me grow and mature as an athlete and a person. Being an effective communicator is key when being on a team or in daily life. I have made friends from all over the state and in my community who I would have never known without being an athlete. Playing sports has truly shaped who I am today,” said Oliveto.
Question 11: What has representing B-U as a student athlete meant to you over the last four years? What’s your best high school sports memory?
“It has been an honor to represent Buckhannon-Upshur over the last 4 years for the Lady Bucs Soccer and Track & Field programs,” explained Oliveto. “I have a lot of great sports memories on the soccer field and track…a couple that stand out are from this past soccer season. First, when our team dominated a 6-0 victory over Martinsburg where I had a hat track. We played a great game that day as a team and I was super proud of all of us. Second, I will always remember my last game as a Buccaneer losing a heartbreaking game against Bridgeport (4-3) for the Sectional Title, we played our hearts out that game.”
Question 12: Finally, are there any short-term goals you would like to accomplish in the next few months? Couple years? What about in the future 10 or more years down the road, where do you think you will end up?
“This is my last season as a track athlete and I have always wanted to beat the 400-meter dash high school record, this will be a hard challenge to accomplish, but I will try my best before the end of the season. I hope our team will have a great season and see success during the state track meet,” said Oliveto.
“In the fall I will be attending West Virginia Wesleyan College, where I will study pre-nursing and be a member of the Lady Bobcat Soccer team. It is my hope to have great success on and off the field. I am very excited for new beginnings,” explained Oliveto. “I don’t know what my future holds, but I hope to either continue my education and become a Nurse Practitioner or a Certified Nurse Midwife. Any of these options will give me the opportunity to find a job anywhere.”