We congratulate Mary Kathryn Myrick of Freeport for being named this year’s winner of the Taylor Haugen Trophy. Mary Kathryn has been a star scholar athlete at Freeport High, lettering in volleyball, basketball, softball, and track, while maintaining a 4.417 GPA and securing her class rank as number 1 of 75 students. Mary Kate is a leader among her peers as she was elected to serve as senior class President, President of the National Honor Society, and Vice President of the Key Club. She was also the charter President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and still holds that position. Her hard work and her positive influence have led her to the title of Captain of both volleyball and basketball teams. She was awarded MVP in volleyball her 11th grade year and her senior year she was recognized by the American Coaches Association as Player of the Year for Class 1A Region 2. Her basketball career was equally impressive as she scored her 1,000th career point during her junior year and was named First-Team 1A All State. She was named First Team All-Area over her each of her first three years at Freeport High.
Mary Kathryn has logged more than 800 community service hours over the past four years volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, Neonatal Tetanus awareness foundations, and has traveled to Guatemala last summer to work, witness, and worship the Lord with children living in an orphanage. This experience allowed her to realize the true value of life’s blessings and opportunities. So if her plate seems full and her schedule seems long, ask her and she will say: “It’s all part of God’s plan for my life!”
In 2013, in what seemed like the peak of her athletic career, Mary Kate was diagnosed with a form of spina bifida. Numerous physicians told her that she would have to quit sports. The end result was surgical repair on February 8, 2013 at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas, TX. In five months, she was released and returned to playing the sports she loved and the life she knew. Her five-month recovery time was faster than the doctors ever imagined possible. It was her faith, drive, and dedication to hard work that allowed her to return back so soon. Mary Kate says that she believed that her surgery gave her a platform in which she could witness to others, and that she did.
Life seemed full until in a volleyball game during her senior year, Mary Kate jumped up to hit a ball, and came down with a torn ACL. This injury ended what many believe could have been a state title and possibly a record breaking basketball season. She says, “I never asked why. God has a bigger plan for my life and I just have to trust that this is going to shape me into the person I am supposed to become.”
Mary Kathryn plans to attend Auburn University in the fall and major in biomedical sciences with a pre-dental concentration. She hopes to one day use her dental skills to first give back to her community and eventually use her heart for missions to perform dental work in third world countries.
Mary Kate is the daughter of Mike and Patsy Myrick. She has one brother, Collin. They reside in Freeport.