Checotah’s Olivia Clayton – Athlete Spotlight Presented by CROSS

By Nick Hampton

It’s not often that you find a standout FOUR sport athlete in high school. And it’s even rarer when that athlete is a girl. But at Checotah Olivia Clayton is a part of four sports program for the Wildcats and, according to her main coach, Jim Glover, she excels at all of them.

“Olivia is an extremely hard worker and at times a little stubborn and hard-headed,” he chuckled, “but most good athletes are that way to some degree.”

The Wildcat senior started the fall running cross-country though the season ended a little sooner than she would have liked at regionals.

“It was a tough cross-country season with football and recruiting taking my time as well. But it was exciting too because we had the most girls we’ve ever had turn out for cross-country,” said Clayton who is vice-president of the student council and a member of the National Honor Society.

Did she say football? Yep Olivia is a trainer for the Wildcat football team, the second of her sports activities.

“My older brother played football and so I guess I was always around the football boys and I thought I might as well be a trainer and I’ve done that since seventh grade.”

Next spring she’ll be into sport number three on the Checotah track team. Last year she placed third in the state in the high jump and fourth in the long jump. She and Glover feel like she has a good chance to take gold in the high jump for sure and possibly the long jump.

“I worked hard on the weights during the summer and have been pushing myself a little harder at practice.”

Olivia’s fourth and best-known sport is basketball which is where the recruiting comes in that she mentioned earlier. A VYPE Top 100 player in the state, she recently became the first ever Lady Wildcat basketballer to sign with a Division I school as she put her name on the dotted line to attend Tulsa University next year.

“What really drove me to sign with Tulsa was their family environment and its proximity to home,” said Clayton. “The staff and the girls were great and they were folks I could see myself getting along with.”

Clayton attributes a lot of her basketball growth to her summer travel team, the Oklahoma Storm out of Edmond.

“I’ve been playing with them since seventh grade and have picked up a lot of ideas that I bring back to use here in Checotah.”

Clayton became a de facto team leader last year since Checotah didn’t have a senior on the squad and says she leads by example and with encouragement.

Olivia Clayton has certainly given the Lady Wildcats behind her a great example of what you can accomplish with hard work and determination.