Behind the bubbly smile of Claremore High School senior Katelin Teter lies a fierce, competitive nature that drives the Lady Zebras offensive attack.
That ‘no-fear’ attitude and love for the game of soccer helped Teter chase a small-town, childhood dream of furthering her career at Northeastern State University.
Last Wednesday, Teter signed a national letter of intent to play NCAA Division II college soccer for the RiverHawks under head coach Chase Wooten.
“Coach Wooten definitely had an impact on my decision,” Teter said.
“Plus, I love everything about NSU, and it’s close to home but not to close. The campus is the perfect size, and they have a strong soccer program.”
Teter also credited her mother, Tonya, for the support through the years and helping keep her positive on and off the field.
“My mom has always been there for me since day one. Every tournament, every game, she’s been there,” Teter said.
“Even though she has three other kids who are also involved in sports, she makes her best effort to support all of us in everything we do.
“She has always kept me positive when I have bad games and she’s always there cheering me on in the stands.”
Through the bond with her mother, Teter has endured a love that is a reflection of not only her personality, but also her faith in God.
“I can count on my mom, no matter what. I am beyond blessed to have such a supportive mom, and I couldn’t have done it without her.”
Teter also knows the impact of God in her life is the cornerstone of her athletic career.
“God is my rock, and I am very strong in my faith,” Teter said.
“God has kept me strong throughout all the difficult trials in my life. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me as I start the next chapter of my life.”
A chapter that brings a wealth of knowledge and athletic abilities to Tahlequah for Coach Wooten.
Teter, a four-year starting midfielder for Claremore, has been the foundation of the Lady Zebras’ offense under head coach Robin Sutherland.
“My role as a midfielder is to distribute the ball. A lot of the action happens in the middle of the field so I have to try a see the whole field in order to make the best decision,” Teter said.
“Throughout the years, I’ve played a lot of every position. I can play anywhere but center mid is where I feel comfortable and where I feel I do my best.”
Teter added that she developed her love for soccer when she was 4-years-old playing rec.
“I absolutely fell in love with the game and haven’t taken a season off since,” Teter said. “I’m so thankful that all my hard work has finally paid off.”
The thrill of putting the ball in the back of the net keeps the love for soccer No. 1 in Teter's heart.
“I love how I feel when I step foot on the field, there’s nothing like it,” Teter said. “Being out there with my teammates, working together to achieve our goals, it’s really an incredible feeling.”
A lot of her toughness and drive for the game is credited to her high school coach (Robin) Sutherland.
“I have always looked up to Robin, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her guidance and support,” Teter said. “She always pushes me to be my best and always expects 100 percent out of every game.”
Being able to take her career to the next level in Tahlequah has proven that Teter’s work ethic is a shining example to the passion she has for the love of the game.
“Before each game, I still get butterfiles. But once the first whistle blows, I know it’s game time,” Teter said.
And, for Tonya, seeing her daughter play with the ‘heart of a champion’ ... there’s no greater feeling.