Tenacious defense and a smile; two Katie Breault trademarks.

GLADWIN – I am constantly impressed with the young athletes of Gladwin County, and Katie Breault is no exception. She is involved in multiple activities both in school and out. Katie is a member of the National Honor Society and the Salutatorian of the 2020 graduating class. She completed her high school career with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Breault, the daughter of Jeff and Erica, will be attending Central Michigan University in the fall where she plans to study either mechanical or chemical engineering. She hopes to make her final decision before she heads to school in August. Once she gets to campus she will reunite with a friend from Caro that she met last summer during the American Legion Girls State Program. The weeklong program is housed on the campus of Michigan State University and gives girls the opportunity to interact with individuals from all over the state.

“We set up a mock government for a 51st state which is Girls State,” said Breault. “It was a great opportunity to be on your own. I roomed with someone I didn’t know and worked with a group of people I didn’t know. It helped me learn how to communicate with new people.” She mentioned that several older girls from Gladwin encouraged her to attend and she did the same for some younger girls. “I loved the experience of getting to know a very diverse group. I still talk to a lot of them.”

Sports have been a big part of her life. Like many athletes she got her start with soccer and T-ball and continued to play softball until seventh grade. At that point she was involved in so many activities she had to give up several. One sport she didn’t give up was basketball. It had become her favorite. She started playing in third grade and continued with it through high school. Prior to high school she played on several travel teams, first at the Midland Community Center and later for the Michigan Fast Break program and at Morey Courts.

When I asked her why basketball was her favorite sport she said it was because she liked to play defense. Basketball coach Jerome Smalley could see that also. He mentioned, “she in tenacious on the court; she gives 100 percent.” It didn’t surprise me that basketball was her favorite sport. Whenever she was on the court she had a smile on her face. You couldn’t miss it. When I asked her about it she said, “It’s easier to be happy. If something doesn’t go your way you just need to keep going with your game. If I get mad it effects everyone on the court, we feed off of each others energy.”

Smalley echoed her sentiment. He said, “She was the Rotary award winner because she is a great teammate and leader. Earlier in the year she couldn’t participate because of a health issue, but never missed a practice or game. “Katie is a positive and fun person who is an encouragement to everyone around her.”

Along with basketball, Breault also played volleyball and ran track. Volleyball coach Tony Wetmore told me, “Katie is an intelligent and hard working individual, she is the kind of person that makes a team better. He also said that she is a fun person to have around, and always looked out for her teammates. Katie has a younger sister, Erin, who also plays the same three sports.

Another longstanding activity for Katie is the 4-H Program. She got started as an 8 year old and has been involved ever since. Her father owned a beef farm when she was younger so she always wanted to show beef, but couldn’t handle it when she was young so she got started with rabbits and chickens. As she got older she graduated to sheep and beef. She was very appreciative of the businesses that purchased her animals over the years. “I am very grateful to them for buying our animals. They were so generous because they paid above market price for them.” At the end of his comments Smalley said, “I’ll miss her toughness, cheerful attitude and smile.” I think that Gladwin High School will too.

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