When Kaitlin Weidner sets her mind to something, she is bound and determined to do it.
When you add her heart to the equation, there's no stopping her.
Take volleyball, for example; Kaitlin only learned to play the sport three years ago, and she was a senior leader on a team that went undefeated to win the New Penn Christian Conference championship. It's just her first year playing basketball, and WCCS plays Friday in the New Penn tournament semifinals.
Photo by Carl Leichtenberger
WCCS senior Kaitlin Weidner
This has been the best-case scenario for Kaitlin, as she puts the team ahead of herself every day.
Just like life; Kaitlin wants to devote her life doing for others.
"I am fine where ever God leads me," she said.
"She just has her mind set on doing missions work," said her mother, Sheila.
Kaitlin taught vacation bible school with a church youth group last summer in the Dominican Republic, but she's long wanted to make that a part of her life.
First stop, Georgia, where Kaitlin plans to study Intercultural Studies at Toccoa Falls College.
She's bound and determined to do it.
A little "Q & A" with Kaitlin Weidner:
Q: Who are your parents, siblings and what sports do you play?
A: Parents: Doug and Sheila Weidner
Siblings: Allison (14), Ryan (12)
I play volleyball (3 years) and basketball (1 year)
Q: Tell me about your best experiences from volleyball and basketball at WCCS. You guys have had winning teams, but something tells me there's more to it than that at WCCS.
A: I joined the volleyball team my sophomore year - the same year we got a new coach. At this point, the volleyball team had had several losing seasons. We started the season with a new viewpoint. Coach shared a devotional before every practice for the first two weeks. This gave a new aspect to the game. We no longer played for ourselves. We played with a higher purpose. God blessed our team and we were the co-champions of the league.
Basketball is the same way. When we depend on our personal strengths, we get nowhere. The key to winning is to depend on God to give you the necessary strength.
Q: Have you played basketball before, and why did you decide to play this season after not playing?
A: This is my first year playing basketball. I have always wanted to play but was not allowed because the games ended late and the season is so long. My parents did not want basketball to get in the way of my school work.
Q: What have you learned or taken from your experience in sports? What sports have you tried in your life, and what are your greatest memories?
A: Playing sports has taught me about encouragement. When people are making silly mistakes and I want to become frustrated, I turn the energy into encouragement. Not only is this good for them, it helps me also.
I have only played volleyball and basketball.
My favorite memory from volleyball was during my junior year. After our very last practice before the year end tournament, we had a time of prayer. While we were praying, every light in the gym went off except the light right above us. This showed me that God was pleased with our team's actions and efforts. We won the tournament that followed and gave Him the glory.
Q: I understand you have high aspirations and specific goals for after high school. What are your goals and hopes involving mission work and schooling?
A: After school, I plan to attend Toccoa Falls College and major in Intercultural Studies with a minor in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language). This means I can go overseas as a missionary and teach English. I do not have a preference who I teach or where I go. I am fine wherever God leads me.
Q: What have you appreciated most from a small private Christian-based school like WCCS?
A: Sports at a small Christian school have a whole different meaning than at a public school. Every player and coach is to glorify God with every action on and off the court. Every game begins with a time of prayer. I play by the strength God has given me and if I mess up, it does not matter. I am not playing to please people. I play to glorify God. He loves me in spite of how I play.
Also, everyone is given a chance to play since the teams are very small. Therefore, I have gotten quite a bit of playing time and experience.
Q: Do you hope to continue playing sports after high school? Why or why not?
A: Yes, I would love to play in college, but if it gets in the way of my school work, I might not.
Q: What are your hobbies or interests outside of sports?
A: Violin, youth group, counseling at Edinboro camp, baking.
Q: Who is your inspiration and why?
A: My inspiration is my Lord Jesus Christ. He gave all He had for me. How can I do anything less than my best for Him? He deserves it.
Q: Tell me something about yourself, a quirky nature, a funny habit, a story, that not many people know about you.
A: I wear my barn boots everywhere I go.
I wear a pencil in my hair, because I will lose it if I don't.
Q: What is a specific goal you have for yourself long-term?
A: I would like to become a missionary and teach English overseas.
Q: Tell me one question I didn't ask, and then answer it.
A: How long have you attended WCCS and do you have any regrets about it?
I have attended WCCS for 13 years. I love it and would not trade my time here for anything. I have made lasting, sincere friendships I could never find anywhere else.