By: Jennifer Van Tuyl
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Senior Katie Corbitt started playing soccer in kindergarten and has continued her love for the sport as a four-year starter for the Oklahoma Sooner soccer team.
Corbitt, from Highland Village, Texas, is the Sooners' team captain this season. While her on-field defensive ability and all-around play is impressive, she also shines in the classroom and in the community.
One of only three seniors, Corbitt sets an example for her younger teammates. A bracelet on her wrist has her three-word motto: "Never Give Up."
“She is an exceptional soccer player,” OU Head Coach Nicole Nelson said. “She works every minute of every day. You get every ounce of what she has in her every time she steps on the field. She is a great defender and does a great job for us.”
Nelson says Corbitt is a natural leader because of how she carries herself off the field.
“She could not be a better leader by example,” Nelson said. “There is not a player on this team that does not have the utmost respect for her and that is based on her leading by example. She sets the tone.”
Senior leadership has been extremely important for the Sooners in their first season with Nelson as coach. Corbitt embraced the coaching change with enthusiasm.
“I was really excited to start the season with coach Nelson,” Corbitt said. “There have been a lot of lessons learned this year, but so far the change has been good.”
Nelson is appreciative of that attitude.
“She has made the transition great for us as a staff,” Nelson said. “She has really bought in and been really supportive and tried to implement what we are doing and how things are changing.
Corbitt’s work ethic is not only seen on the field, but in the classroom as well. A zoology major, she has earned several awards for her academic excellence. Corbitt was named an Academic All-Big 12 First Team member in 2006 and 2007, and was an ESPN The Magazine’s All-District VI Third Team member in 2007.
The time and effort required to excel in sports and in the classroom would fill up most day planners. Corbitt, however, still takes time to give back to the community.
Her most notable contribution included granting three wishes with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Also, she has visited J.D. McCarty, a center for children with developmental disabilities, helped to build a house for Habitat for Humanity, and has helped with children's soccer clinics.
“It is really fun helping in the community,” Corbitt said. “I enjoy giving myself to a bigger cause.”
With her final soccer season nearly complete, Corbitt hopes her role model and leadership example will transfer to the younger Sooners as they continue their careers.
“I am very thankful that I had at least a year with her,” Nelson said with a smile. “We have told her a million times that we wish we had her for another three years here. Her absence will be felt without question.”