The spirit of competition takes Catie Mets to new heights.
The 5-foot-6 sophomore makes up for her lack of height with an unshakable confidence and a loving support system.
“As silly as it sounds, being 5-6 is not ideal for being a basketball player. That's my biggest obstacle, because that affects everything. When you get swatted all the time, it takes a toll on your confidence!” says Mets, with a laugh.
“But my family and my teammates help me overcome that. Yeah, I'm small, but I have other attributes that I can use to handle my height.”
A bit of healthy competition helps, too.
Growing up alongside two successful brothers, Mets felt it was her turn to shine.
“My little brother, Ryan, is going to Oregon State to play baseball, which I'm so proud of him for, and my older brother, Casey, is about to graduate from the Air Force Academy and go to pilot training. Both of their lives are kind of figured out for them.
"So when that hit me, I thought, ‘OK, Catie, time to get yourself together and pick up the pace.' Seeing how successful they are really motivated me. I have to keep up with my brothers.”
Her sense of competition aside, Mets feels her humor is a great team asset.
“I have a really inappropriate sense of humor. I'm so sarcastic all the time. It gets me in trouble occasionally, but at the same time, in the gym, we need that sometimes. Some practices are really hard and take a large toll on all of us. Especially when the girls are tired and don't want to be there anymore, I'll make them laugh or if I even make them chuckle, it's worth it to me. I'll crack jokes at the most inappropriate times, it's just how I am.”
Her humor helps her achieve one of her greatest goals in life.
“I want to be positive and genuine and optimistic all the time. I want to leave that with my teammates and my friends. I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so if there's a reason, it has to be good. I try and have a positive outlook on things and help others have that same positive way of looking at things. If I can accomplish that, I feel I have succeeded.”
Her other goal is to work in a hospital, where she can apply her biology major and math minor.
“My game plan after college is to go to nursing school to be a nurse practitioner because of the experience I have volunteering at the local hospital.”
Mets appreciates how her support system constantly pushes, and encourages, her to achieve her goals.
“My parents are amazing. Mary, my mom, is my rock and my best friend. Even though she's not too keen on all the athletic stuff, she's still my biggest supporter. My dad, Dave, is my biggest critic, but my best critic. No matter what, he has no problem telling me, ‘Hey, you sucked tonight'. But also, I can sit down with him and be angry, and then we can talk about it and he will help me better myself in sports or academics. He helps me figure everything out.”
Mets also appreciates the role her teammates have played in her success.
“Those girls have been my saviors so many times. We rely on each other, since we can't go home for many of the breaks, so it helps to have a great group of friends to fall back on. I love our team this year. Our unity is great.”
Teammate Taylor Solomon attests to how well Mets has achieved what she set out to do.
“Catie always has a positive attitude and is the one to get us motivated and pumped. She's a hard worker that always picks the team up when we're down. She's a great teammate and always there for me.”
Solomon also appreciates her teammate's skills on the court.
“Her speed and quickness has really helped us on the fast break and running the court. She's one of our best drivers and very aggressive on defense. She's a great asset to our team.”
Her success and enjoyment of the game aside, Mets has gained so much more from her time so far at Linfield.
“Even if basketball wasn't a part of my college experience, I still love going to Linfield. I love the campus and I've had great experiences with my professors. I've made amazing friends, and I just love it here.”
-- Kelsey McGarry '16