Sixteen-year old Joycelyn Katcheak of Stebbins is the first wrestler ever in Bering Strait School District history to receive a four-year college wrestling scholarship.
This August, Joy will begin her college wrestling career at the University of Jamestown in North Dakota. She says it’s not only faith and physical dedication that pushed her to succeed, but also her mindset.
“The most challenging part about facing an opponent is facing… it’s basically facing yourself first. Because you have to come to accept yourself, and not be defeated by fear before you’re able to become successful on the mat.”
The scholarship will cover 40% of her tuition. She says she probably could not continue wrestling after high school without it.
Joy’s Mom, Marlene, also said that, for years, she wasn’t sure if her daughter would be able to continue with wrestling, but for a different reason. Joy suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, which often made it painful even to get out of bed. A visit to the doctor this past March brought news that changed that.
“She [the rheumatologist] said, ‘I don’t know what is going on…’ she said never in her history of practicing medicine had she seen Joycelyn’s autoimmune disease reverse itself to the point where it doesn’t exist.”
Joy shares more of her journey and successes with KNOM Profiles. Listen above.
Images at top and below: Joycelyn Katcheak in Stebbins. Photos: Katie Kazmierski, KNOM.