North Pole standout Katy Vinton signs to Black Hills State Soccer
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - During the winter, North Pole’s Katy Vinton protects the net a goaltender on the school’s hockey team. In the fall, she lines up on the outside as a wide receiver and defensive back for the school’s tackle football team. However, it is in the spring where Vinton is at her best - instilling fear into opposing teams as the school’s leading goal scorer in soccer.
The standout senior used a bit of what she learned from each sport and funneled it onto the pitch, culminating with a soccer scholarship to Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota.
“It feels amazing, really, I have always dreamed about this day,” Vinton said of signing to college. “I was like, ‘oh yeah I am going to go play hockey somewhere’, but then [I realized] ‘hmm, soccer is more fun’. I got to visit the campus in July of last year and just fell in love with it. Getting to see the soccer program and communicate with the coaches down there, I felt like I fit in there, so it is exciting.”
While she prevents goals on the ice, she does nothing short of producing goals on the pitch. Vinton led all Interior girls in goals this year, pocketing 12 during the condensed 2021 season while never shying away from setting her teammates up for goals themselves. Her individual success led to a nod on the Mid Alaska All-Conference team, while anchoring her team to a 4th place finish at the Division II State Soccer Tournament.
As the verbal and emotional leader for the Patriots, Vinton picked up many of her characteristics on the gridiron, where her high school soccer coach Damon Crutcher first saw Vinton’s athleticism on display.
“She has always been one of the top athletes around,” Crutcher said at Vinton’s signing. “I mean, my first impression of her was meeting her on that Pop Warner Football field watching this tiny little girl layout the boys and I am like, ‘who the heck is this?’. Then one year somebody said we are going to bring her out here to play and I am like, ‘Katy Vinton? Does she play soccer?’ and they said, well, she can run’.
She picks up on things real quick, overall she just adapts,” he added. “She uses her athleticism to her advantage and you tell her to do something and she will find a way to do it.”
Through the various sports at North Pole High, Vinton has seen backing and encouragement around every corner, and shared some advice for those who may want to follow in her example.
“They’re always very supportive, always like, ‘Go Katy! Go Katy!’ It is nice having people that actually care about me and that want to see me succeed, besides just my parents,” Vinton added with a laugh. “Just work your hardest, don’t give up no matter what and you’ll get where you want to be eventually.”
Vinton will join a BHSU squad led by head coach Justin Griffith with a roster that features athletes from across the United States and a pair of players from Australia. Attending the school this fall, she plans to major in Biology and minor in chemistry with hopes of becoming either a physician assistant or a forensic scientist.
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