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Q&A with Altus’ Emily Waites – Presented by Cirque Dance Studio

By: Hunter Ferguson

Altus athlete Emily Waites recently spoke with VYPE about her life in an interview.

VYPE: What are your personal goals for the year?

I have set several goals this year. One goal of mine was for our Altus Pom Team to make it to state.  Even though we didn’t place as high as we would have liked to, we still made it to state and made some amazing memories getting there. Another goal of mine is to make the principal’s honor roll all year. Maintaining my grades while being a student athlete is important to me. My biggest goal this year is to make the varsity high school golf team as a freshman. Even though I only started playing golf a few years ago, I have really enjoyed learning the game. I worked really hard over the summer practicing and playing as much as I could, and entered as many tournaments as I could. I really love golf and hope to be able to play in college.

VYPE: What is the most fun you have had in the last year?

I spent my summer playing golf in the Greenbelt Junior Golf Association. We traveled to different golf courses each week and I placed 1st in every tournament. At the end of the summer I placed 1st overall in the league.

VYPE: Who is your favorite teacher from any grade, and why?

My favorite teacher would actually have to be my sixth-grade basketball coach, Coach Misti Watson. I transferred from Navajo to Altus my sixth-grade year. Between transferring schools, trying to make new friends, and being right in the middle of Covid, it was a pretty tough year. I could always count on her day or night for anything I needed. If I was struggling in school, she would FaceTime me to help me out.  If I was struggling in basketball, she would take extra time to explain things to me. More than anything though, she was there when I felt like I didn’t have a friend in the school. Coach Watson will always hold a special place in my heart, and I will always be thankful for the time she spent with me.

VYPE: What is your favorite athletic memory?

My favorite athletic memory this year by far was getting to visit the elementary schools with the Altus Pom Team. I absolutely love kids, and enjoy seeing their bright smiles when we welcome them to school. This was a special event for the Altus Pom Team, and I hope we can do it again next year.

VYPE: What teammate has left the biggest impression on you and why?

I’m not sure I can pick one teammate who’s left the biggest impression on me this year, because I have two pom teammates who helped me in different ways. The Altus Pom Team has had the best seniors this year ever. One senior who has been there for me through some hard times is Gracen Hawthorne. I’ve looked up to her from day one of making the Altus Pom Team.  She has been there for me when I needed advice and a little encouragement to keep my head up. Another teammate who has meant a lot to me is Taylor Sexton. She is a freshman as well. Being a freshman comes with all new experiences, and we have been able to navigate through them together. I know I can depend on her to practice with me and help me when I need it. 

VYPE: What is your favorite part of being on this team?

Meeting new friends, being part of a team who is there for each other, and having an amazing head coach, Lisa Hunter, who really cares for us and loves us.    

VYPE: You can pick any place for a summer vacation. Where do you go, and who do you take with you?

I would probably pick a place that most people wouldn’t even think about. Every year for the past seven years our entire family has gone to Beavers Bend in Southeastern Oklahoma.  It is a time when all of my cousins and their families get together. This is something that I look forward to every year and will always cherish the memories that we’ve made there.

VYPE: If we gave you $500 and you had to spend it in the next 24 hours, what would you spend it on?

I would save most of it. I turn 16 in October, and I am saving up for a car. I would also donate some of the money. Our family adopted an angel one year and it was the best experience being able to help a child out at Christmas.

VYPE: Do you participate in any community service projects?

I’m in charge of organizing and making food baskets for families in the community during the Christmas season.

VYPE: What Clubs or Campus groups are you involved with and why?

I am the vice president of our Altus Freshman Kay Club this year, which is an organization whose purpose is to promote character, leadership, develop women of intellect and integrity, and enrich the bonds of sisterhood, through diverse community involvement.

VYPE: Are you involved in academic excellence activities such as the National Honor Society, Student Council, or other academic clubs?

I am a member of the National Honor Society.

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