A+ Athlete: Katie Branam, Bells

This week's A+ Athlete is Katie Branam from Bells High School.

Katie shines in sports for the Lady Panthers. She's an All-State and District MVP basketball standout, a regional qualifier in the shot and discus and part of the historic softball run to the regional semifinals last season.

"I love just being able to get out there, be competitive and have fun," said Katie Branam. "At the end of the day, it really is just a game, and it's about having fun and doing what you love. And that's what I love to do."

"I can't say how proud I am of Katie and the young lady that she's become," said Karri Branam, head girls basketball coach. "She's a hard worker and dedicated to every activity that she commits herself to."

Katie displays that dedication in academics as well as the top student in the senior class and a regional qualifier in Academic UIL. She serves as the Beta Club President, Student Council Secretary and volunteers her time at Texoma Medical Center and as an youth basketball coach.

"In athletics, I kind of learned to push myself, physical," Katie explained. "In academics, you have to push yourself, if you want to make good grades and learn everything that you want to. So kind of both just that mentality of being able to push yourself further than what you think you can."

"She manages to do all of those things without a whole lot of to do," said math teacher Carolyn Emory. "And you might not realize it because you look up and all of a sudden everything is done that needs to be done thanks to Katie."

After graduation, Katie will play basketball with a scholarship for the Southeastern Savage Storm and major in kinesiology. And that's why Katie Branam is this week's A+ Athlete.