There is someone in each of our lives that plays a big part in who we are and who we become. It could be someone we are close to, like a family member. Or it could be someone we observe from a distance, such as a celebrity. Kazlyn Ulrich of Elk City says that the person that had the biggest influence on her life was someone she was close to.
“One of my biggest role models is my recently late grandfather,” she said. “Anytime I had a bad game or just wasn’t confident I could go to him and he would tell me how good of a player I am and to not let anyone get in my head. Even though he’s not here anymore I know he’s still watching from above cheering me on. What I would do just to have one more conversation with him after a game.”
Kazlyn is a sophomore at Elk City High School, where she plays basketball and softball. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Becoming the athlete that she is today has not been something that just happened for Ulrich. But she says that even with all the work, it is worth it when you start to see the results.
“It has taken a lot to be successful in my sport,” she said. “Whether it’s late nights at lessons or recovering from injuries. And that’s all of the physical tear but no one seems to notice the mental toll it’s taking on players as well. Most times athletes don’t think they’re good enough or think that they will never be as good as other teammates or players. But when you keep pushing yourself and spending extra time in the gym it starts to show off.”
And though she is not afraid to put in the work, Kazlyn has days when she just does not feel like working. On those days, she has to keep in mind why she does it and who she is doing it for.
“What motivates me is my family,” she stated. “They’ve supported me so much throughout my whole basketball career, putting in money, taking off work, and just being there. Whether it’s a travel ball or school ball I can count on them.”
Throughout her career, Kazlyn has had a lot of memorable moments. But she has one that stands out as her favorite.
“My favorite athletic memory is going into the varsity game as a freshman at Woodward in the first playoff game,” she recalled. “It was the first time that I felt confident in my game and it gave me a new sense of myself.”
Along with her sports, Kazlyn is also a member of the National Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.