YORK — On Wednesday night at Foster Park in York, Exeter-Milligan’s Katherine White became the 14th winner of the York News-Times’ Female Athlete of the Year award.
White is the fourth Exeter-Milligan athlete to win the award. The other three were JJ Hall (2005-2006), Heather Pribyl (2010-2011) and Derek Luzum (2014-2015).
White, who will further her education in the fall at Missouri Western State University and play volleyball for the Griffons, was a three-sport athlete at Exeter-Milligan in all four years.
During an interview following the presentation on Wednesday, White shared how Missouri Western State became her college of choice.
“I went there for a camp and then a few weeks later I took an official visit. When I got back I called the coach and told her that Missouri Western was where I wanted to go,” White said. “I just felt an instant connection with her and she was a math major, and that’s what I plan to be, so I think she could be a real big help.”
In the 2018-2019 school year, White excelled in all three sports she participated in as she won Class D all-state honors in volleyball and was honorable mention in basketball.
White was a Crossroads Conference first-team selection in both volleyball and basketball and was York News-Times all-area in both volleyball and basketball, including a team captain in volleyball.
White finished this past volleyball season with 454 kills, which was tops in area, and was fourth in ace serves with 63. She had 39 blocks, 251 digs and scored 550 points this season, setting a new school record.
In basketball, despite suffering a mid-season hand injury, White put up nine points per game and was second in rebounding in the area with 8.4 per game. The senior also averaged 3.3 assists and 2.4 steals.
As her final season at Exeter-Milligan came to a close, White continued to excel on the track as she was fourth at the Class D state meet in the long jump and third in the 100-meter hurdles. She finished in the top five in five of the 17 track and field categories in the final area stats, including top marks in the long jump (16 feet, 11 1/2 inches) and the 100 hurdles (15.58 seconds). White also made the top five in the 400 and 100 dashes and the 300 hurdles. She scored all 11 points at state for the Timberwolves.
White said that being a three-sport athlete was a key part to her success.
“I think it’s really important because, my main focus was volleyball, but playing other sports like basketball and track kept me close with the team and staying close with the team was important to me and getting better at the other sports,” White said. “I think it really helps out your individual strength by playing other sports. You need more knowledge about other things to get better at one thing.”
The award was not actually a surprise as her mom, Darcy, who was also her volleyball coach at Exeter-Milligan, had to spill the beans when Katherine said she had to work Wednesday night instead of making a trip to York.
“I woke up Tuesday and my mom said we are going out for my birthday, and I said, ‘OK, it was a while ago.’ Then she said to make sure I don’t have anything going on, and when I found out I had to work she said, ‘No, you can’t do that,’” Katherine said. “I asked her why I couldn’t work and she had to tell me.
“The award means a lot to me because of all the effort and work I’ve put in throughout high school and my whole career, and it means a lot to my school,” White said. “It’s really great to be mentioned with all the other great athletes who have won the award and went through Exeter-Milligan.”
In mid-August, White will pack up her bags and head to St. Joseph, Missouri where she will become a Griffon at Missouri Western State University.
“I move in on August 17 and I don’t really have anything other than lifting, and we have Tuesday workouts at St. Joe,” White said. “It’s about a three-hour drive to St. Joe’s, so it’s not all that far.”
The York News-Times Female and Male Athlete of the Year award is presented annually to the top three-sport high school athlete in the 10-school area, regardless of age, as chosen by the York News-Times sports staff. You must compete in a sport all three seasons of the high school year to be eligible for the award.