Categorized | Sports

Natural Bulldog

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Dupree to Union

Millington Central High School senior Katlyn Dupree has been dreaming of attending  Union University in Jackson for years.

Last Wednesday her dream officially came true when she signed her national letter of intent to play soccer for the Union Lady Bulldogs on National Signing Day in the MCHS Library. Working hard in the classroom and on the field to achieve her dream, Dupree’s high school coaches Larry Dagen and Melinda Jemmott said she was born to play for Union.

“You don’t want to call her a bulldog,” Dagen said. “But she’s a bulldog.”

“But a bulldog in a good sense,” Jemmott added. “She’s a team players. She’s an excellent, excellent player skillwise. She motivates. Whether you win or lose, she was always happy.”

Dagen said Dupree is a bulldog because she is a fierce competitor and hard worker in all phases of being a student/athlete.

“She leads by example,” he said. “She’s just as tough as they come. She’s the total package. Union is lucky to get a great package like her.”

Jemmott said Union Head Coach Isaac Brooks will benefit from adding Millington’s all-time leading soccer scorer to his roster.

“As a coach, a teacher or a mentor, you would love to have a field full of people like that,” she said. “Her skills and mindset, she brought everything.”

Dupree’s efforts in the the classroom helped her to be ranked No. 7 in her class and achieve honors like National Honor Soceity. In athletics, Dupree played a year of varsity basketball and will be a four-year letterman in softball.

But the sport that brought her the most recognition and awards has been soccer.

“She’s multi talented doing a lot of things at the same time,” her father Andy Dupree said. “Playing club soccer all the time, plus high school soccer, basketball and softball, we’re very proud of her obvisously. She’s just a great kid and a great joy to be around.”

Andy was around his daughter regularly during Lady Trojan practices as an assistant coach. Andy’s history with Millington soccer goes back to the school’s inagural team in the late 1980s.

His wife and Katlyn’s mother Jodi also participated in Millington athletics pitching for the Lady Trojans in the early 1990s.

“You want your kids to excel and do better than you did,” Andy noted. “This definitely validates all of her hard work and her dedication she’s put in to play soccer and make her dream come true to play soccer at Union.”

Jodi said besides playing soccer, Union was Katlyn’s choice after she heard a speaker from the school during her days as a student at Tipton-Rosemark Academy.

“We’re very excited for her,” she said. “She always wanted to go to Union since middle school. I’m glad it worked out for her. Academically, we’re excited for her going to Union because they have the major she wants to do which in Pharamcy. She loves the coach there and she loves the girls. I think its a good fit for her.”

Katlyn noted she felt in her heart Union is the ideal match for her to take her skills.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Union because it’s a Christian envirnoment,” she said. “It’s close to home and I’m just excited because my parents can come and watch my games. I can play soccer, learn about God and study the things I want to study.”

While earning her degree, Dupree will play NCAA soccer. In high school she played five years of varsity ball with one year at TRA as an eighth grader.

In those five seasons she scored more than 100 goals, with 91 coming as a Lady Trojan. This past season she tallied a Millington single-season record of 31 goals breaking the old mark of 27.

“I think the all-time leading goal soccer is more important to me because it’s an actual thing I accomplished,” she acknowledge.d “It will be there for years to come. My ranking won’t really matter by next year.

“It’s definitely a team record because it’s a team sport,” Dupree added. “I definitely thank my team for helping me accomplish my goals that I scored.”

Dupree said it took a team effort to help her reach her all-time marks and goal of playing for Union. She said her foundation all those years was her parents.

“They took me to every practice I had,” she concluded. “They attended every game I ever had. They never were gone. They were there for me through everything. Even when I was down and stuff, they would always push me to do my best. They knew my best and I thank them.”

 

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